Atiku reportedly hires U.S lobbyists who will pressure Trump not to recognize Buhari as President

Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has enlisted the services of a United States lobbying firm to help declare him winner of the election, according to a report by the Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP)

Atiku Abubakar is challenging the result of the 2019 presidential election court (AFP)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) called the electionfor incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. 

The umpire declared Buhari winner of the poll with 15,191,847 votes to Atiku’s 11,262,978 tally.

Atiku rejected the result of the election hours before a formal declaration by INEC.

He has also been challenging the result in court, telling everyone who cares to listen that he has the original figures which proves that he actually won the election.

CRP is now reporting that Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official and his firm, Fein & DelValle PLLC, were registered on March 24 as foreign agents on behalf of the PDP and Atiku, to help with overturning the election outcome and to pile pressure on the U.S Congress and President Donald Trump not to recognize Buhari as duly elected president. 

The firm has been asked to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 2019 presidential election, until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation.

“Meet and consult with members of Congress and staff in an effort to pass House and Senate resolution(s) to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner of the 2019 Federal Republic of Nigeria presidential election pending legal challenges to the initial assertion that incumbent President Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the Nigerian judiciary in accordance with the rule of law and due process, free from military or political influence.

“Draft articles and op-ed pieces to spotlight the issues in Nigeria post-2019 presidential election and to promote the rule of law and due process in resolving electoral disputes in Nigeria.

“Make television and other media appearances to engage in public advocacy discussions of these issues.”

In a letter responding to Atiku’s request for their services, and one that was seen by CRP, the firm said a “Nigerian barrister and trusted confidant of Your-Excellency Dr. Lloyd Ukwu, will assist in the operations of the U.S. Situation Room”

According to the story, Fein will be paid $30,000 over a 90-day contract span, for the services. 

The firm said its lobbying effort will demonstrate that an Atiku presidency is “the will of the People.”

It added that its services will convince the United States that an “Abubakar presidency” will open a fresh and new chapter in Nigerian politics and that it will “highlight the declining rule of law, democracy and due process in Nigeria under the APC and the current administration.”

Atiku’s spokespersons were not immediately available for comments for this story.

It is not the first time that Atiku has been linked to U.S firms or lobbyists. In March, the New York Times reportedthat Atiku hired professionals and campaign strategists--who helped to get Trump elected U.S President in 2016--ahead of the presidential election.

Part of their brief was to get Atiku into the U.Sand arrange meetings between the then presidential candidate and top ranking U.S legislators.

Atiku arrived Washington on January 17, 2019, amid corruption allegations and insinuations that his visa ban had been waived to allow him make a last impression before the election. 

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