26/05/2012: Money Laundering: US Vindicates Nigerian Embassy
The controversy generated by the fraud allegation that was recently made against the leadership of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC and the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York by an Online Journal (Not Leadership) may have come to an end just as the Department of States on Wednesday night absolved the Missions of any complicity.
One of the Spokespersons of the US Department of States who reacted to the report during a chat with LEADERSHIP, said that the United States government did not order any bank to close down the accounts of both the Nigerian Embassy and the Permanent Mission in New York.
The source who preferred anonymity also told our Correspondent that no allegation of fraudulent activities against the leaderships of both the Nigerian Missions had been brought to the knowledge of the government of her country.
She further said that the United States government has not received any information that the Ambassadors Adebowale Adefuye and Joy Ogwu-led administrations at both the Embassy in Washington DC and Permanent Mission in New York were involved in laundering money into the country on behalf of some State Governors and top government functionaries as reported by the Online Journal.
The United States official did not tell LEADERSHIP if the Permanent Mission in New York had ever operated or still operates bank accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America but, she confirmed that no bank account belonging to both Missions was closed down.
“I have just checked through all our records and there is no report that the Nigerian Embassy and the Mission in New York involved in frauds. It is not also in our records that any bank was ordered to close down their bank accounts. I cannot actually say if the Permanent Mission in New York did or still operates any form of accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America, but the Embassy in Washington had no accounts with the said banks” the official said.
It would be recalled that an Online Journal recently reported that the United States government had forced two of the country’s leading banks to close the accounts of the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC and the Nigerian Mission in New York over alleged shady money transfer involving state governors and public officers.
The report further stated that the monies were allegedly wired into the Nigerian Embassy’s bank accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America by some state governors and other government functionaries with the arrangements that the Embassy would make the money available to them on arriving the US.
But in his reactions to the report, the Nigerian Ambassador to Nigeria to the United States, Professor Adebowale Adefuye, debunked the allegation that the Nigerian Embassy was using its bank accounts to launder money for some state governors and government officials, stressing that the Embassy did not operate any bank accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America as stated in the report which he called a “wicked bid” to undermine the leadership of the Embassy.
His words: “We have never operated any accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. We have nothing to do with the laundering of money on behalf of state governors or other Nigerian public functionaries. The leadership of the Nigerian Embassy in the United States respected the financial policies of the host country and will never encourage fraudulent activities such as corruption and money laundering.”
Meanwhile, all efforts by our Correspondent to get the reactions of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations were not successful as top officials of the Mission did not respond to the electronic mails sent to them.
Source: Leadership Newspaper