An inquiry by Premium Times into whether Atiku Abubakar was wanted in the United States has hit a brick wall.
US authorities said they would require the legal consent of the former Vice President before releasing such information.
The U.S. government was responding to a PREMIUM TIMES inquiry on whether Mr. Abubakar was wanted in, or barred from entering, the U.S.
Atiku’s immigration status to the US was the subject of a rancor between the former VP and Malam El Rufai.
El-Rufai accused Atiku of corruption saying the former vice president stayed away from the U.S. for fear of being arrested.
“Can Atiku explain the findings in the report of the United States Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations?
“That report detailed a pattern of wire transfers of more than USD 40 million from offshore companies.
“Companies like Siemens helped him transfer the money into bank accounts controlled by him and one of his wives.
“The report detailing the US Senate findings is online, as one of four case histories of foreign corruption in the USA.
“Alhaji Atiku should tell a better tale of why he is avoiding the United States of America.
“Someone, as obsessed with Nigeria’s presidency as he is, should clear up such matters conclusively.
“We wait to see how well he does with that,” El Rufai said.
In response, Atiku said he had been to the country on several occasions before the relocation of his family.
This was why Premium Times launched an inquest into the case. They got a response.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is prohibited by law from releasing such information.
“We cannot do this without the written legal consent of the individual about whom you are asking these questions,” US CBP said.
Asked if he (Atiku) will grant this legal permission, Atiku’s spokesperson said he’d refer the question to his principal.
We have gotten no response for two weeks running.