Dear Right Honorable Mrs May MP: We are a charity committed to fighting the corruption that  has become  endemic in Nigeria, the effects of which are felt not just in the degradation of the Niger Delta but also in the increased insecurity and criminality that corruption and under development generate.
Although Nigeria is well endowed with vast natural resources, with the country being the seventh largest producer of oil in the world, there is still widespread poverty in the country due to the high level corruption. 80% of Nigerians currently live on less than a dollar a day. Basic infrastructure such as hospitals, roads, electricity and portable water, are in a state of total disrepair as a result of the corrupt activities of leaders like the ones stated below.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is the Nigerian anti-corruption agency tasked with fighting corruption in Nigeria, is currently perceived as very weak and there are reports that the present head of the EFCC has been involved in corrupt practices. This agency has recently admitted that Nigerian leaders have stolen over $20 trillion dollars between 1960 and 2005. A large proportion of Nigeria’s earnings amounting to several billion dollars have also been stolen since 2005.

According to the Corruption Perception Index released on 1 July 2010 by Transparency International, Nigeria has slipped in ranking from 121 to 130 out of 180 countries.

It is in light of this grim background that we seek a United Kingdom travel ban on the following politically exposed Nigerians and their families against whom we have some information about their corrupt activities. These are:

Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2007)

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2007)

General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Former Head of State, Federal Republic of Nigeria (1998 -1999)

General Ibrahim Babangida, Former Military President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1985 – 1993)

Dr Buba Marwa – Current Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa

Michael Aaondoakaa – Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007 – 2010)

Mrs Farida Waziri – Head of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (2008 to present)

There are widely reported stories of corrupt activities carried out by these individuals, but the current Nigerian government led by President Goodluck Jonathan has not demonstrated the will to investigate and prosecute these individuals.

The media coverage that a United Kingdom Travel ban on corrupt Nigerian leaders will generate will help to deter other leaders in Nigeria from engaging in corrupt activities, which we believe will in turn greatly help reduce poverty levels in the country.

It is a well known fact that the main reason for mass migration from Nigeria to European countries like the United Kingdom, and the increasing influence of extremist groups like Al Qaeda in the Northern part of Nigeria, is due to the high level of poverty in the country caused by the corrupt activities of Nigerian leaders.

In addition to helping to reduce the flow of migration from Nigeria and reducing the influence of extremist groups, a United Kingdom travel ban will also achieve the following:

1)    reinforce the international perception that The United Kingdom Government condemns corrupt practices by African leaders.
2)    show that The United Kingdom Government will not allow this great nation to be used as a haven where corrupt African leaders can hide their loot as we believe these individuals we are seeking a travel ban against all have assets in the United Kingdom.
3)    the negative effect of the media coverage of the travel ban on the individuals mentioned above will help deter other African leaders from engaging in corrupt activities.
4)    the negative effect of the media coverage would help to force the current Nigerian government to take action and recover the stolen monies from these individuals.

The information we have against these individuals are disclosed in the following appendix. There are many other leaders in Nigeria who are engaged in corrupt activities, but the ones we are seeking a travel ban on are the ones we currently have sufficient information on.  All the information below is in the public domain and we are relatively confident that corroboration from UK police and national intelligence services would buttress our information.

We hope that you will be able to use your good offices to help us in standing up for the millions of voiceless and impoverished Nigerians who are currently suffering untold hardship as a result of the corrupt activities of leaders, who steal and embezzle without thought of the consequences.

Rt Hon Secretary, it may be particularly helpful to invoke the Provisions of the UK POCA 2002 and EU Money Laundering Directive which makes money laundering offences indictable in the UK wherever they are committed and to accordingly instruct the relevant UK agencies to act as appropriate.

We thank you for your time and attention.

Yours sincerely,

Democracy & Governance
Citizens For Change

To: Right Hon Theresa May MP       
Secretary of State for Home Affairs            
House of Commons           
London               
SW1A 0AA                       
           

Our Ref: HS/TB/001

cc: Prime Minister -Rt Hon David Cameron
cc: Deputy Prime Minister- Rt Hon Nick Clegg
cc: Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office -Rt Hon William Hague
cc: Secretary of State for International Development - Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell
cc: Leader of the Opposition- Rt Hon Harriet Harman
cc: Shadow Foreign Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs- Rt Hon David   Miliband
cc: US Secretary of State- Mrs Hillary Clinton c/o US Embassy, London
cc: Rebecca Schiller -Human Rights Watch, London
cc: John Drysdale, Chairman- Transparency International UK, London

Appendix 1
Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2007)

Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2007)

General Abdulsalam Abubakar, former Head Of State Federal Republic of Nigeria (1998 -1999)

Between 1999 and 2002, according to the Security Exchange Commission in the United States and Okiro Panel constituted by the former president of Nigeria, President Yaradua, Mr Obasanjo and Alhaji Atiku were among the four people that collected and shared $74 million bribe money from Halliburton, KBR inc (both American oil companies) and Technip, a French based global engineering and construction company. General Abubakar also received a major share of $37.5million from the same organisations. In return for paying this bribe money, these organisations were allowed to hugely inflate the $6 billion contract for Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Nigeria which was in place between them and Nigeria between 1995 and 2004.
These organisations and their employees have already admitted paying these bribes and have already been sanctioned and fined $917 million dollars by the United States government.

However, the current Nigerian government led by Goodluck Jonathan has not shown any evidence of any desire to prosecute these individuals.
 
Source: 1) Security and Exchange Commission, United Sates of America 2) Okiro Panel Reports, Aso Rock, Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria

General Ibrahim Babangida, Former Military President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1985 – 1993)

During the first Gulf War in 1991, Nigeria had a $12.4 billion windfall from the sale of oil. However, by the end of the tenure of General Ibrahim Babangida, over $12billion of this money disappeared from the Nigerian treasury. A panel was then set up by his successor, General Sani Abacha to investigate how the funds were spent. The panel submitted the Okigbo report (named after its chairman, Dr Pius Okigbo) which clearly indicted General Babangida as the one solely responsible for the mismanagement and corrupt transactions that led to the disappearance of the money.
However, successive governments in Nigeria, including the current one, have yet to prosecute him.

Source: Dr Pius Okigbo Panel Report, Panel on the Reorganisation and Reform of the Central Bank of Nigeria, August 29, 1994, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Appendix 2

Dr Buba Marwa – Current Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa
A Jersey court convicted and sentenced Mr Raj Bhojwani in June 2010 for money laundering and helping Dr Buba Marwa to steal $100m between 1996 and 1997 from the Nigerian treasury. The Nigerian Authorities have the same evidence used to convict Mr Bhojwani in Jersey, but are currently not holding Dr Buba Marwa to account. In fact, he still retains his position as the ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.

Source: Guardian Newspaper, 27 June 2010

Michael Aaondoakaa – Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Federal Republic of Nigeria (2007 – 2010)

It is widely known that justice in Nigeria suffered a huge setback during the term of Mr Aaondoakaa when he was in office, and that he corruptly enriched himself. Even the United State government issued a travel ban against him and his family in June 2010 due to the plethora of evidence against him. The Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom are also currently investigating his money laundering activity. There are no signs that he is being held to account by the Nigerian Authorities.
Michael Asondoakaa and his family have recently been banned from entry the USA.
Source:     1) The Punch (Nigerian Newspaper), 02 July 2010 2) Saharareporters.com news report, 01 July 2010

Mrs Farida Waziri – Head of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (2008 to present)

There are currently a string of allegations of corruption against Mrs Farida Waziri which can be verified by concrete evidence produced by different civil society groups.

One of the plethora of reports of her activity is that she collected a $500,000 bullet proof MercedesBenz GL 450 gift from Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria to stop ongoing investigation against the governor on the millions of pounds stolen from the long suffering people of Akwa Ibom state.

The Nigerian government is aware of this and many other reports of corrupt activities she is said to be involved in, but nothing is being done to investigate her.

Source: Saharareporters.com news report, 3 May 2010 and 09 July 2010

 

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