A oducment showing that PDP 2019 presidential Atiku Abubakar actually paid a total of $30,000 to a United States-based firm Fein & DelValle PLLC.
In a report by TheCable, Nigerian-based online medium, Alhaji Atiku sought the services of the company in his bid to defeat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in February presidential poll.
The Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP) had reported how Atiku hired Bruce Fein, a former official of the US justice department, and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC, in March.
The terms and conditions for representation of Fein & DelValle PLLC had said it would establish and operate a situation room located in its capitol hill offices in the United States and enlist the services of Lloyd Ukwu, a Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant of Atiku, to assist in the operation of the situation room.
The firm also proposed to execute strategies to secure the US endorsement of Atiku’s efforts to beat the APC Presidential candidate President Buhari.
The APC-led government had been described as “flagrant violence” in the terms.
When the news surfaced, the Adamawa-born politician has denied such deal.
A few hours ago, Atiku’s media aide Paul Ibe, his media aide, had described the reports that he paid $30,000 as “a total fabrication”, blaming it on the ruling APC.
PDP had accused Buhari of using “fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians”.
“Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar dismisses as total fabrication the latest allegation instigated by the Buhari campaign that he spent $30,000 to hire a US lobby group to persuade the US Congress to stop the inauguration of President Buhari,” the statement read.
“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed. No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate.”
But the latest documents made public by the showed that Atiku paid the money to the firm two days after signing a 90-day contract (April 1,2019, to July 1, 2019). He signed the contract on March 24 and paid the money on March 26.
The amount was said to have been budgeted for costs and expenses for the 90-day period. In addition, the agreement was for Atiku to separately pay all pre-approved international travels, business class.
A document received by the United States’ department of justice foreign agents’ registration act (FARA), with registration number 6654, on April 2, Fein & DelValle, PLLC, registered as a foreign agent for Atiku and the PDP on March 20.
FARA is a disclosure statute that requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities.
According to a reliable source, the firm said it received $30,000 from Atiku on March 26, which was confirmed in item 9(a) under the financial information clause of the registration statement.
Specifically, in item 9(b), the firm made it clear that it did not receive any other thing of value other than money from Atiku.
The firm is a lobbyist firm, a registered and active corporate law firm in the US, stated that the agreement with Atiku is in a formal written document.
Atiku had spent billions of Naira in 2018 before he emerged as the candidate of his party during PDP presidential primaries in Rivers State.