US Bribery Scandal: Why OBJ, Atiku Met

Posted by The PM News on 2009/01/23 | Views: |

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US Bribery Scandal: Why OBJ, Atiku Met

Contrary to the speculation that the meeting between former president Olusegun Obasanjo and his erstwhile deputy, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, in Abeokuta, was to mend fences and pave the way for Atiku’s return to the PDP, P.M.News can reveal that there was more to the hurried meeting than what the public believes.

Contrary to the speculation that the meeting between former president Olusegun Obasanjo and his erstwhile deputy, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, in Abeokuta, was to mend fences and pave the way for Atiku’s return to the PDP, P.M.News can reveal that there was more to the hurried meeting than what the public believes.

Our investigation has revealed that the meeting was convened by the former leaders to find a common response to the investigation allegedly being carried out on them by America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), regarding the bribery scandal involving global telecommunications giant, Siemens.

The company is being investigated in America for suspicious payments of $12.7 million for four projects with about $4.5 million paid as bribes to government officials during the Obasanjo administration, for the award of contract by the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited.

The United State’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) put the value of the four contracts at about $130 million. Report by the SEC revealed that the bribes were paid into the US bank account of a former vice president’s wife, in Potomac, Maryland.

According to the SEC complaint; “The vice president’s wife, a dual U.S.-Nigerian citizen living in the United States, served as the representative of a business consultant that entered into fictitious business consultant agreements to perform ‘supply, installation, and commissioning’ services, but did no actual work for Siemens. The purpose of these payments was to bribe government officials.

“Other corrupt payments included the purchase of approximately $172,000 (N17.3m) worth of watches for Nigerian officials, designated in internal Siemens records as ‘P’ and ‘V.P’, likely referring to the President and Vice President of Nigeria.”

Sources said, in the wake of this ongoing investigation, Atiku and Obasanjo could not travel to America to witness the inauguration of president Barack Obama, on Tuesday, because they were not sure of the fate that awaited them in America.

We also gathered that the investigation has forced the former vice president and his US-based wife to relocate from their home in highbrow Potomac, Maryland, USA, to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirate.

Meanwhile, Atiku has explained why he visited Obasanjo on Monday, this week, saying that his love for Nigeria and its progress necessitated the visit. According to a statement by Atiku’s media office yesterday, the fear that unresolved “political feuds and petty elite bickering will continue to undermine the country’s political and economic progress led both men to resolve to work with other patriots and statesmen to address critical national challenges.

“The meeting was not about the 2011 presidential election as some people have misinterpreted it. The two leaders decided to bury the hatchet and focus their attention, redirect their energies and harness their collective experiences for the benefit of the country.

“It was not about the two of them. It is about the future of our beloved country. At a critical moment such as this, in the life of a nation, great men and women must put aside political differences and work for the progress of the country. This is the context in which the Abeokuta meeting should be seen by all well-meaning Nigerians.

“Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, sat down one-on-one, in November, in Chicago, for a meeting with the man who defeated him in the U.S. election, president-elect Obama. They talked about how they could work together to solve America’s economic and social problems. They realised that the country is bigger than both of them.

“Nigeria is bigger than all of us, and true national leaders must be prepared to make personal sacrifices in the interest of the nation.”

There has been speculation that Atiku, who was the AC presidential candidate in the 2007 election, was gearing up to return to PDP ahead of the 2011 polls and the visit to Obasanjo was seen by many<

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