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Jefferson: I’ve been vindicated – Atiku

By  Chris Ochayi

ABUJA – Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said yesterday that he has been vindicated on the acquittal of former Congressman, Williams Jefferson following charges on plans to compromise him (Atiku).

Atiku made the remarks while reacting to the judgment of the Jury in the United States of America, which convicted former Congressman William Jefferson of bribery and corruption but acquitted him on the charge of planning to compromise Atiku.

He said the Wednesday judgment has finally brought to a close this highly- politicised case of a troubled Congressman ensnaring everyone he came in contact with.

Applauding the judgment through a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, Atiku noted that the United States government was unable to prove a bribe scheme involving him because none ever existed.

According to the statement, “Atiku Abubakar was another victim of Jefferson’s scheming. Under the corrupt foreign practices act, and in accordance with the judge’s instructions, the jury could have found Jefferson guilty of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act merely by making an offer of payment to the Vice President. The money in the freezer spoke for itself — this case has nothing to do with the former vice president.”

Atiku said the acquittal of Jefferson on the charge of planning to bribe him vindicates his position over the years that he never had any improper relationship with the former Congressman. “I have consistently maintained that I had no improper relationship with former Congressman Jefferson. My relationship with him was purely official and it was in an effort to attract foreign investors to Nigeria.”


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