Tuesday, 30 August 2005
Recent revelations suggest that Vice President Atiku Abubakar may have affronted these laws and rules. As a public official who is bound by provisions of these laws, he must now explain the discrepancies between his claimed ownership of landed property in Maryland, United States and a counter claim by one Jennifer Iwenjiora? Jennifer Douglas E? and Jennifer Jamilah Douglas E Abubakar. Nigeria’s current vice president had sought to deflect questions by ThisDay newspapers journalist, in an interview published on August 21, 2005 regarding this aforesaid property.
Vice President Atiku Abubakar is bound by our Constitution and our Laws, in view of what now looks like a huge scandal, the VP must make full, complete disclosures of all material facts, relating all the issues raised by his ownership of a property acquired or purchased in 2000 in Maryland United States, (outside of Nigeria) after he became VP
Our vice president must address these allegations or be compelled to address them!
Available facts so far indicate a clear violation of the laws of Nigeria by the VP.
The vice president has variously described the house or mansion in Maryland, United States, as his house, or his wife’s, depending on who is doing the explaining! Some of the vice president’s aides and retinue of assistants, have impishly attempted to deflect Nigerian journalists’ enquiries or questions, with answers such as, “do you mean the vice president’s wife’s house in the United States?” Whereas, the vice president himself, has already, arrogantly, told a ThisDay journalist only two Sundays ago, August 21, 2005 to be precise, that the matter of HIS house in the United States “is no big deal”! And that he, the vice president, did not know what the heck, the ThisDay journalist was talking about!
Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Nigeria, has publicly admitted ownership of the Maryland property during his interview with a Nigerian journalist with ThisDay Newspapers, the vice president during that interview sought to downplay and minimize the import and consequences of these disclosures, by pretending and attempting to deflect questions as he arrogantly stated that “it was no big deal” as he added that he has owned a property in Maryland since 1994. The vice president, obviously engaged in disinformation, as he disingenuously want the public to believe that the property raided by the FBI in Maryland, was purchased in 1994, when in fact it was bought in year 2000!
Many questions have therefore arisen, among which are: Who is the real owner of this property? When will the real owner of this property stand up? Why would the vice president claim to own the property and then misstate the date it was acquired which is 2000 as against his false date of 1994? If this house was transferred to the lady with multiple-surnames, Jennifer Jamilah etc, when did the transfer take place? Was such transfer publicly recorded? Is the VP now retracting his public acknowledgement of his ownership, with a view of relying on the legal fiction of Jennifer ownership? Oh yes! Her name is on the property, but pray, tell us, the source of her wealth, financing for this mansion of hers?
More questions are raised as well, regarding the status of Lady Jamilah Jennifer, assuming that she is determined to be the vice president wife, concubine, mistress or kept woman and girlfriend, what is her source of wealth? How could she afford a two million dollar house and maintain it, even though she a college student? Did Jennifer win any Lottery or Lotto? If she did, what is and where is the evidence of that?
Who is this multiple-named Jennifer? Why does she answer to various names? Why is Nigeria’s vice president associated with such lady? What interests does she have in this house in Maryland, United States? What interests does the vice president have in this same property purchased in 2000 after Mr. Atiku Abubakar became vice president upon which he became bound by the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution and the Code of Code Act, which prohibits Nigerian public officials from owning properties outside of Nigeria, including, the ownership of bank accounts, houses and such other resources or assets.
Is Lady Jamilah Jennifer (multiple surnames) a convenient excuse for the vice president? Is Jennifer Jamilah a mere conduit, a funnel, a shield and a façade or camouflage for the deceit? Nigerian taxpayers and voters are interested in finding out the real owner of this property and the source of money that financed it. Nigerian taxpayers and voters demand that the vice president urgently provide explanations to these questions and more.
Is Jennifer a mere conduit, a front, and a cover for her El Dorado or Sugar Daddy? And it also raises the question of what some Nigerian women deserve, how many Ph. D holders are willing to be fourth wife, absentee wife at that, to someone twenty years older than them? Only just because such man possess power clout money, regardless of the source of such wealth? What standards of responsibility should we hold these types of Nigerian women?
Who exactly is Lady Jamilah Jennifer? Is she an innocent bystander in all of these? Is she just some docile college student and an accidental beneficiary of the VP’s largesse or a conniving looter of Nigeria’s taxpayer money, moneys that would have been better spent on Nigeria’s public infrastructure? Is Lady Jamilah Jennifer on the other hand another scam artist who may have duped individuals and corporations in America into donating millions of dollars in the name of Nigeria and Nigerians, but for her own illegal purpose? Has she utilized moneys or proceeds of her fundraisers for the exact purposes that she outlined, and to which she represented in solicitations to individuals and corporate donors? Has she maintained accurate books of account that are verifiable, that would indicate her accountability and transparency? Are there audited accounts, attesting to the accuracy of receipt and expenditure by her Gede Foundation? Is Jennifer an interloper?
How did she acquire a two million dollar house? How could she afford to donate $25,000.00 to the Republican Party of President Bush? And she is not known to have won any lotteries! Meanwhile she is a student in American University? How many of her classmates are able to afford a two million dollars house and donate $25,000.00 to any political party? She is not reported to have any substantial income, and yet she could donate twenty-five thousand dollars as an individual to the Republican Party?
And what worthy cause Nigerian, do the Republican Party members support or represent? the election of Vice President Atiku Abubakar as Nigeria’s president in 2007? We must have to wonder whether Lady Jamilah Jennifer would have offered in donations, her own hard earned money, all twenty-five thousand dollars of them to the Republican Party? Except of course, because she is or was being bankrolled by Nigerian taxpayers, courtesy of the current vice president of Nigeria?
Many Nigerians in America and most Nigerians in Nigeria cannot afford to donate $25,000.00 to charity, let alone, the already filthy rich Republican Party in the United States, a political party that represents, a party, that is the epitome of everything anti Nigeria, anti Africa and anti peoples of African descent! But of course it would not have bothered anyone or me, for that matter, if it involved moneys honestly earned or acquired by Lady Jamilah Jennifer Iwenjiora, Douglas E Atiku Abubakar…. (will the real Jennifer stand up please?)
By all accounts, Lady Jennifer Jamilah Abubakar or Douglas E or Iwenjiora is said to also be the person behind a Non-governmental Organization, Gede Foundation.org which has sought American public support, financial support, using the name of Nigeria and Nigerians to solicit monetary donations from American individuals and corporations, informing them all, that funds so received would be used to ameliorate the precarious conditions of Nigerians and other Africans suffering from the AIDS and HIV scourge.
It is against the law, and public morality, to use proceeds garnered from fundraisers conducted by charitable organization such as Gede Foundation, for purely personal use, there will be no basis in law therefore, for Lady Jennifer Jamilah to pretend that proceeds from her “charitable work” financed the acquisition or purchase of the Maryland property; If that was the case, the property should rightly bear the name of Gede Foundation, even though Gede is not in the business of real estate! And even if that was her defense, Nigerians and American public will want to peruse her books! How is her bookkeeping? What is her annual personal income? How much in local, state and federal taxes did she pay since year 2000 when the property was purchased?
Nigerian and American publics, would want to know the extent of Gede Foundation’s actual work, actual impact and actual effect on the lives of the target population of AIDS?HIV victims in Nigeria, Africa and elsewhere. We will all want to know the extent of Gede Foundation actual presence in Nigeria and the extent of its expenditure, commitments in real terms, since its inception and upon receipt of millions of dollars in the name of Nigeria, Nigerians and AIDS/HIV victims!
It is relevant to determine whether Lady Jennifer Jamilah has complied with local, state and federal laws of the United States in her “purchase and ownership” of the above mentioned property in Maryland United States, it is important to determine her personal income as a house wife cum college student who presides over a mansion, in the lap of luxury or decadent opulence? Has she usurped the resources of Gede Foundation? Donations to Gede Foundation by individuals persons and corporate bodies, were intended specifically for social work, and Gede Foundation portrayed itself as a socially responsible organization, upon which public-spirited persons and corporations donated millions of dollars to Gede Foundation, to enable Gede Foundation provide services to the less fortunate in our societies, to alleviate the dire conditions.
It is instructive that the FBI is said to have taken the property deed and building plans, it will, in all likelihood, enable them ascertain the real owners and what transactions regarding the property has transpired over the years, and that should resolve the discrepancies in the arrogant obfuscation of Vice President, his staff and all those who have tried to engage in all manners of cover-ups!
Messrs Jonathan Elendu and Omoyole Sowore have blown off the lid off, of, this property in Maryland, United States which many Nigerians have talked about often, as the symbol of endemic corruption, the brazen avarice and greed that some Nigerian officials continue to indulge themselves in, and until now, there were not enough specifics. So it remained the usual rumor mills, (coffee shop gossip, a la President Obasanjo on Mr. Babangida) Pepper-soup and beer parlor genres of idle banter gossips.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, is investigating one William Jefferson, an American, and a Congressman from the state of Louisiana, who has had extensive contact with some Nigerian officials during a period spanning over ten years. More particularly, this Jefferson guy has had contacts with Nigerian officials regarding privatization and possible participation by an American company in the telecommunication industry, and its interests in NITEL.
We are splendidly uninterested in William Jefferson and his apparent troubles with the FBI and the United States government, we are however keen on possible explanations from Nigeria’s vice president regarding the activities of this man, in relation to his visit to the vice president. Nigerians are also entitled to specific and detailed explanations from our vice president, explanations regarding the disputed ownership of his house in Maryland, United States. Who really owns this house?
Nigerians over time, have become aware that Vice President Atiku was an officials of the Nigerian Customs Service, that bastion of proper conduct and ethical behavior in Nigeria, the VP thereafter transmuted into some sorts of instant business mogul and magnate, with interests in petroleum, pharmaceuticals, a private university, the whole lot, in common with almost every other former and current public officials! Whatever happened to ethics and conflict of interests rules? Mr. Ibrahim Babangida, I am told, also now possess a private university? Who is next, among retired generals gets a private university, need we ask?
Allegations have also been rife, of how the vice president was placed in charge of the Bureau for Public Enterprises or BPE, that was supposed to conduct an above-board privatization and deregulation processes, which have been notoriously engineered to favor personal interests over and above Nigeria’s national interests in preserving and protecting those assets, sold only to the highest bidder and for the utmost benefit of Nigeria. But instead, the vice president has been repeatedly fingered for self-dealing and conflicts of interest transactions relating to the BPE etc deals.
NITEL is one such federal entity in Nigeria, which is still striding to become fully privatized, with sundry allegations haven trailed all such efforts. I guess that we can begin to connect the dots, as William Jefferson dealings and visit to the vice president in the vexing two million dollars property in Maryland, was in connection with a telecommunications deal, with broadband connectivity as its main focus.
In light of the unfolding scandalous revelations, it is beginning to look, more and more as if, putting the vice president in charge of the BPE may have been akin putting a hyena or a fox in charge of a hen-house! How do we trust the hyena or fox with the chickens? Who exactly, was minding the Nigerian national store? Were Nigeria’s national assets allowed to be pillage, for mansions in Maryland, and some in New York? How do we Nigerians, now prevent the hyenas and foxes from continuing devour our chickens, in this case, our national assets and public treasury?
Who exactly was watching on behalf of Nigerians at home and abroad, as our national assets are being auctioned or are being put on the chopping blocks? Particularly, if the man who supervised the auctions of our national assets, is such a man that has been funding the life of luxury for a college student, who we are now told, is the beneficiary of a two-million dollars and a happy-hooker sorts of donor to the Republican Party, a political party that is not Nigerian, African friendly, just as it is hostile to African Americans and the interests of all peoples of African descent!
Nigerian taxpayers and voters, certainly, are entitled to demand and expect precise explanations, Nigerians will need to know, if the man that is already angling to be President Obasanjo’s successor as Nigeria’s president, come 2007, now has a cloud of misconduct, impropriety, a violation of ethics, a commission of illegalities or crime over his head? He cannot allow this odium to continue to swirl, he must address these charges!
Nigerians are entitled to full material disclosures! Disclosures of all material facts, the VP must provide sufficient facts, to either, exculpate self, Jennifer and become exonerated by impartial observers. Otherwise, he should resign honorably from his post, and might as well forget the loftier dream of becoming the president of Nigeria, ever!
There are too many discrepancies in the stories so far told by the VP, his aides, assistants and sundry defenders, the information generated thus far, by this scandalous saga, appear to be an avalanche of inconsistencies, odious wealth with admixtures of arrogance. In which the VP is quoted as saying that in the beginning, the allegations were no big deal! Or that he did not understand what the heck the ThisDay journalist was talking about! Nigeria media, as have been rebuked recently by Femi Olawole, Sonala Olumhense and Seyi Oduyela, Nigerian media surely need to arise to their responsibilities of the fourth estate of the realm, as it were….The Nigerian media must stop asking easy questions or questions that permit easy landing for their interview subjects, especially, public officials and all those responsible for policies affecting the general public. ThisDay journalist had asked the right questions in the interview with the VP, but allowed the VP to get away with incomplete and even offensive answers! No more softball and tepid questions for public officials!
Some Nigerians are already saying that some malevolent in Nigeria, are playing a mind twisting game on all of us, as corruption case against the VP may be used to remove him as a presidential contender against Mr. Ibrahim Babangida, who would look good by default, if the VP is out of contention, this is conspiracy theory so far, at least to me, I am not an IBB fan and a demand of the VP to make full disclosures or be compelled, is therefore not any efforts to help IBB on my part, or on the part of anyone that I know! As a matter of fact, the demands that we make, apply to Babangida as well!
What is being revealed, in all probabilities, are a brazen or flagrant violation of Nigerian and American laws! What peeping into, is what appears to be a cesspit of odious wealth coupled with the attendant arrogance and contempt for decency by the individual participants in this saga. It is crystal clear demonstration of the immorality that has become pervasive in country. There is high rate of unemployment, there are decaying public infrastructures, there is permeating hardships, desperations and hopelessness, in which two generations of Nigerians have fled home to live overseas, and a continuing desperation by those in Nigeria to leave Nigeria still!
But despite all these horrors faced by the average citizens of Nigeria, evidence in public domain reveal that one Miss Felicia Wabara bought a million dollars worth landed property in New York this year! Additionally, one Mr. Olu G Obasanjo, also purchase and equally expensive house, in New York, this year as well! Nigerian law enforcement agencies, the Police through InterPol , the EFCC, ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau etc, must quickly, urgently liaise with their American counterparts, in order to get to the bottom of all these almost obvious cases of avarice, greed, corruption and unconscionable abuse of public trust, to which Nigerians repose in Nigerian public officials. The vice president and Jennifer are entitled to the presumption of innocence, even as they will be investigated in America and Nigeria, there is no rush to judgment or prejudgment of outcomes here, it must however be clear, that they make full complete disclosures, be forthright forthwith. Perhaps the Pandora Box is finally about to open? Let chips fall!
Is it safe to assume that Ms. Felicia Wabara is the wife of former president of Nigerian Senate, Adolphous Wabara, who herself was formerly resident in New York City and was not in a position to acquire a million dollar house cash down? Is it safe to equally assume that Olu Obasanjo G, is Olugbenga Obasanjo, President Obasanjo’s son? A son who have been speculated and rumored to be in some sorts of deals? Or are we to assume that mischief makers are buying homes in the names of the Wabaras and the Obasanjos?
Our governments, and the individuals concerned will do well to investigate and demand explanations from those concerned, and then explain all these to all Nigerians!