In spite of the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, one of the frontline governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, is on the wanted list of the government of the United Kingdom for laundering over $5.15 billion for the late General Sani Abacha.
Documents from the United Kingdom sighted by our correspondent show that the APC governor was one of the major conduit pipes that late military dictator used in looting the Nigerian treasury during his regime.
The certified documents show that Governor Bagudu has been on the run from the United Kingdom government since 2003 when the government of Jersey, Channel Islands, a vassal state of UK, “duly and legally charged” him on a five-count charge of criminal offences.
Facts are beginning to emerge that the romance between President Buhari and the fugitive APC governor is one of the reasons why the British government is lukewarm in supporting the anti-corruption war of President Buhari despite several pleas from the Nigerian government.
In a letter of request for arrest and extradition of Bagudu written by the Jersey Island Attorney General, William Bailhache, on 11th April, 2003 to Declan Chandler of Home Office Judicial Co-operation Unit, 50, Queen Anne’s Gate, London, the AG said they believed Badudu must have relocated to his house at 12819 Elbridge Place Drive, Houston, Texas, United States to evade justice.
Bagudu was said to have opened several bank accounts with Deutsche Morgan Greenfell Bank where funds stolen from Nigeria were lodged, but falsely claimed that the huge funds were proceeds from his legitimate private businesses in oil and trading.
The summary of the five-count charge against Bagudu are:
*Fraud, contrary to the customary law of Jersey, between 9th February, 1998 and 8th May, 1998.
*Obtaining services by false pretences, contrary to the customary law of Jersey.
*Two (alternate) counts of receiving or possessing property obtained illegally abroad, contrary to the customary law of Jersey, between 1st April, 1998 and 31st August, 1998.
*Fraud, contrary to customary law of Jersey, between 1st November 1998 and 16th December, 1998.
*Obtaining services by false pretences, contrary to the customary law of Jersey, between 1st November 1998 and 16th December, 1998.
Based on this request the British Embassy in Washington wrote to the United States Department of State to make a formal request with reference number 34/03 dated April 11, 2003 for the extradition of Bagudu to its territory to face trial.
To facilitate Bagudu’s extradition to the UK territory, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on May 7, 2003 issued a warrant for his arrest and on May 22, 2003 he was finally nabbed on the streets of Houston, Texas by two officers.
He was consequently detained for about sixty days while a court proceeding was on to facilitate his extradition.
In the Matter of the Extradition of Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Assistant United States Attorney, Jeanne M. Hauch deposed a “Complaint in support of the provisional arrest and extradition” of Bagudu and described him as a fugitive whose offence carry maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
In the affidavit the Attorney said: “The fugitive was duly and legally charged with having committed, in the jurisdiction of the Requesting State, the following offences contrary to the common or customary law of Jersey.
“Two counts of fraud, respectively occurring between February 9 and May 8, 1998 and November 1 and 16, 1998, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
“Two counts of obtaining a service by false pretences, respectively occurring between February 9 and May 8, 1998 and November 1 and December 16, 1998, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and
“Two counts of receiving or possessing property illegally obtained abroad, occurring between April