Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, has denied reports that he hired a United States lobbying firm for $30,000 to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari, who was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC).
An online news medium, Sahara Reporters had reported yesterday that Filings accessed on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by CRP’s Foreign Lobby Watch on March 24, showed that former Justice Department official Bruce Fein and his firm, Fein & DelValle PLLC, registered as foreign agents on the PDP presidential candidate’s behalf.
According to Sahara Reporters, “Fein, the associate deputy attorney general in Ronald Reagan’s administration and general counsel to the FCC, played a significant role in the repeal of the FCC’s ‘Fairness Doctrine’. He also later worked with then-Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) in drafting articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. Joining Fein in the effort is his partner at the firm, W. Bruce DelValle, who according to an online biography has a varied background tackling civil rights and constitutional law issues, litigating intellectual property and liability disputes, along with representing a number of sports and entertainment personalities.”
“Lloyd Ukwu, a Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant [of Abubakar], is assisting in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room,” the medium added.
Sahara Reporters further stated that “Fein will be paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract to provide legal, consultancy and public advocacy services to encourage Congress and the Executive to wait on recognizing a winner of the Nigerian election until after the legal challenge is “impartially and independently resolved”.
However, a statement issued on Wednesday by Atiku’s spokesman, Mr. Paul Ibe, Atiku said the report was fabricated by the All Progressive Congress(APC), adding that no amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by the APC will stop him from continuing the court action he instituted to reclaim his mandate.
The statement reads, “Since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections have exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.
“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in court.
“For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken serious by anybody.
“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians.
“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.”