How I made my money…Atiku

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“They say I am corrupt. I have told them (EFCC) to prosecute me…” – Abubakar Atiku.

They will tell you he is corrupt, he stole money as VP and can not visit the US. But what they wont tell you is that he made multi millions before he became VP, and is Nigeria’s biggest private employer with over 50,000 in his companies. The following is an abridged report from the United States Congress. Please take time to read.

“Mr. Abubakar has attributed his substantial wealth to fortunate investments. His wealth is attributable in part to a 16% ownership interest he held in Integrated Logistics Services Inc. (Intels), an oil services company formed in the 1980s, which has now become one of the largest Nigerian companies in the oil industry in Africa. When Mr. Abubakar took office in 1999, he placed his Intels shares in a blind trust”.

“Atiku Abubakar. For about twenty years, until 1989, Atiku Abubakar worked in the Nigerian Customs Service, rising to the rank of Deputy Director. For the next ten years, he worked in the private sector with interests in oil, media, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and publishing. Mr. Abubakar has been quoted in the media as stating that he became wealthy “through wise investments, hard work and sheer luck of being at the right place at the right time.”

In the 1980s, Mr. Abubakar entered into a business venture with Gabriele Volpi through a company formed to provide oil and natural gas services at African ports. According to a biography of Mr. Abubakar, which was written with “his support and encouragement,” Mr. Abubakar and Mr. Volpi formed this oil logistics company in the early 1980s, as a Nigerian corporation called Nigeria Container Services Inc. (NICOTES). Mr. Volpi told the Subcommittee that he founded NICOTES in the early 1980s and invited Mr. Abubakar to become a director and shareholder in 1989. Some sources indicate that the company had a third founder as well, the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, a political mentor to Mr. Abubakar and the elder brother of the current President of Nigeria, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua”.

According to the Atiku Biography, in 1996, Sani Abacha, then President of Nigeria, seized control of the NICOTES shares belonging to Mr. Abubakar and Mr. Yar’Adua, and renamed the company Integrated Logistics Services Inc. (Intels).983 After Mr. Abacha’s death two years later in 1998, Mr. Volpi returned the shares to Mr. Abubakar. Mr. Volpi confirmed this description of the company’s development, stating through his legal counsel that Mr. Abubakar “was stripped of his financial interests in NICOTES” by General Abacha and that “Mr. Volpi made a moral agreement with Mr. Abubakar to restore Mr. Abubakar’s forfeited financial interest as soon as the political circumstances would permit.”985 According to Mr. Volpi’s legal counsel: “In 1999, Mr. Volpi and Mr. Abubakar agreed that Mr. Abubakar could reclaim a 16% holding of the issued share capital of Intel Services (Integrated Logistics Services) Limited, a Nigerian company and the successor NICOTES West Africa Services, Ltd.

Exxon identified these payments to Intels-related companies from 2006 to 2008:

Payee 2006 USD 2007 USD 2008 USD (through September) Intel West Africa Lts. $ 10,170,959.43 $ 9,460,437.42 $ 8,013,785.32 Intels Nigeria Ltd. $ 98,768.72 $ 281,406.69 $ 813,084.78 Intel West Africa Ltd. $ 37,429,643.95 $ 118,776,151.71 $ 29,862,791.83 Intels Nigeria Lts. $ 406,472.15 $ 22,236,104.99 $ 7,898,653.11 Total $ 48,105,844.25 $ 150,754,100.81 $ 46,588,315.04

Mr. Abubakar served as Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. In 2006, President Obasanjo attempted to amend the Nigerian Constitution to allow him to run for a third term. Mr. Abubakar opposed that effort, leading to a falling out between the two. After President Obasanjo’s effort failed, an election for a new President was scheduled, and Mr. Abubakar announced his candidacy. In response, the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission ruled that he was disqualified from running for President, because he was under investigation for corruption. A few months later, on March 12, 2007, the Federal High Court of Nigeria ruled that the Commission had no authority to disqualify candidates. Mr. Abubakar’s name was added to the ballot at the last minute. The official results showed that he took third place behind two other candidates, with about seven percent of the vote.

“On August 5, 2009, U.S. Congressman William Jefferson was convicted by a Federal jury of soliciting bribes, money laundering, depriving citizens of honest services as a member of Congress, and operating his Congressional office as a racketeering enterprise. During his trial, a videotape was shown in which the Congressman made a reference to Mr. Abubakar when the Congressman was seeking money from another person, but no evidence was introduced showing that Mr. Abubakar had actually sought or accepted a bribe from the Congressman. Mr. Abubakar asserted his innocence, and that his name had been invoked in the matter to ruin his reputation and prevent him from winning the Presidency in Nigeria.”

“Creation of AUN. Ms. Douglas was a doctoral student at American University from about 2000 to 2007. In 2002, she approached the AU Dean of the School of International Service about founding a private university in Nigeria, in part because American University had experience with opening a school in another country, the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. According to AU, “Mr. Abubakar informed American that he was investing his personal funds into the creation of a private autonomous university in Yola, Nigeria. Given American’s international expertise, Mr. Abubakar sought our advice on establishing a university.”1293

The Dean brought the idea to the AU president, Benjamin Ladner. Robert Pastor, AU Vice President of International Affairs, agreed to spearhead the project and later, in 2007, served one term on the AUN Board of Trustees.1294 American University told the Subcommittee that it performed several site visits to Nigeria in 2002 and 2003, to determine the feasibility of the project. One of the team members then outlined a series of “positives” and “negatives” with regard to moving forward with the project.1295 The “Positives” included: “Proprietor has deep pockets, is committed to the project, and appears willing to agree to AU stipulations.”1296 When asked what those stipulations were, Mr. Pastor stated that “the budget process must be completely transparent.” In terms of “Negatives,” the team member listed the following: “Political factor. Project is completely dependent on power, authority, commitment, financial support of one person with current political clout. What of the future? … Khashoggi factor. Is there a risk to AU[’]s reputation? Role of rampant corruption and graft in Nigeria is unclear.”

Mr. Pastor told the Subcommittee that he was very sensitive to Nigeria’s reputation for corruption and explicitly addressed that issue before AU agreed to partner with AUN. Before entering into the project, he said AU personnel consulted with a number of organizations and persons including the EFCC in Nigeria, and were encouraged to move forward. In an email dated June 11, 2007, Mr. Pastor wrote:

“On the alleged corruption of Atiku. We were certainly aware of the different reports about Atiku when he first approached us about helping build the university. [We] sought out all sources, including the US Ambassador and the intelligence community. The US Ambassador said he had never seen anything beyond a rumor, and that was confirmed by other sources. Recently, there are two charges that have been made about his corruption – on Jefferson and by Obasanjo and the EFCC.”

In 2003, Mr. Pastor presented the project to the American University “cabinet,” which consists of AU’s various vice presidents, and recommended partnering with AUN to establish the new university in Yola, Nigeria. The AU cabinet approved the proposal, and the AU president made the final decision to support the project. AUN was established on May 21, 2003. In July 2003, Ms. Douglas-Abubakar gave $1 million to the American University School of International Service Building fund.

” According to AU, the capital costs over ten years to build AUN were estimated to be approximately $400 million. AU told the Subcommittee that, from the inception of the AUN project, it was understood that Mr. Abubakar would provide the needed funding for the school. Mr. Pastor told the Subcommittee that he personally asked Mr. Abubakar whether he had the approximately $75 – $400 million necessary to fund the school properly, and Mr. Abubakar responded that he could fund it. According to Mr. Abubakar’s attorney, Mr. Abubakar has spent about $150 million in personal funds to establish and operate AUN from 2003 to the present.”

– US Congress Report: KEEPING FOREIGN CORRUPTION OUT OF THE UNITED STATES: FOUR CASE HISTORIES.
MAJORITY AND MINORITY STAFF REPORT OF THE
PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS. UNITED STATES SENATE

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