Atiku, Nigerian presidential candidate banned from the US spent Thursday night at Trump’s DC hotel — after paying $1.1 million to GOP lobbying firm Updated for 2021


Updated: March 5, 2021

Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria and now presidential candidate for the February 16, 2019 election was allowed entry into the United States after paying $1.1 million to a lobbying firm linked to the White House, Popular Info reported Monday.

Nigeria’s former Vice President and now presidential candidate for the February 2019 presidential election, Mr. Atiku Abubakar, arrives the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. after meeting with some potential investors at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday January 18, 2019. Photo: EMMANUEL IKODOR, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

In Washington D.C., Mr Abubakar and his entourage avoided the media, sending journalists to other locations while the politician was headed somewhere else.

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TODAY NEWS AFRICA’s Simon Ateba challenged Atiku in Washington D.C., telling him, “why are we being denied access to you?”

In a televised interview on Television Continental in Nigeria on Sunday night, Journalist Simon Ateba described Atiku’s visit and behaviors in Washington D.C. as strange.

President George W. Bush signed Presidential Proclamation 7750 in 2004 which banned entry into the United States for people “engaged in or benefitting from corruption.”

Mr Abubakar was unable able to visit the United States for twelve years. But, on Thursday, Abubakar checked into President Donald Trump’s Washington, DC hotel.

But Abubakar is no longer banned from the United States, local newspapers reported on Monday.

Republican lobbyist Brian Ballard, who is close to the Trump White House, signed a $1.1 million per year contract to represent Abubakar’s political party, The People’s Democratic Party, RawStory reported on Monday.

Former principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah joined Ballard’s firm last week.


Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on


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