The Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Professor Adebowale Adefuye has debunked media reports that the leadership of the Embassy in Washington DC was using its bank accounts to launder some huge amounts of money for some state governors and government officials.
He also confirmed that both the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC and Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York 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.
It would be recalled that an Online Journal (Not Leadership) 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 Online Journal reported that the bank accounts allegedly operated by the Nigerian Missions actually existed prior to the directive of the United States government to the two banks to close the accounts over alleged shady transfers into the country.
It also reported that undisclosed sums of money in the accounts were returned to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC by Wells Fargo and Bank of America, stressing that the payment cheques were delivered to the embassy last week.
The Online Journal further reported 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 swift reactions, Ambassador Adefuye expressed his disappointments over the publication, stressing that the write-up was the figment of the writer’s imagination.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with our Correspondent on Tuesday, the Ambassador said that the writer should present a proof that could indicate that both the Embassy in Washington DC and the Permanent Mission in New York actually operated the alleged bank accounts with the said banks.
“None of these two Missions that they mentioned in the article had ever operated any accounts with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. We have our accounts with other banks but, certainly not with these banks that they mentioned in the news” Adefuye noted.
Professor Adefuye also said that the Embassy had nothing to do with the laundering of money on behalf of state governors or other Nigerian public functionaries, adding that the leadership of the Embassy has never for once helped any government official to launder money into the United States.
“How could they say that the bank accounts were being used by the Embassy to bring money into the United States for political office holders. These are even the accounts that were never operated by our Embassy here and the Mission in New York. I think the writer was wrong because it is even unconstitutional for any country to close down the bank accounts of any foreign Mission.” he said.
He pressed further that his leadership of the Nigerian Embassy in the United States respected the financial policies of the host country and would never encourage fraudulent activities such as corruption and money laundering.
Meanwhile, all telephone and e-mail contacts made by our Correspondent to get the official reactions of the United States Department of States proved abortive as none of the officials in the department was ready to respond as at the time of filing this story.
Speaking on the Nigeria-US relationship, Ambassador Adebnowale Adefuye confirmed that a high-level meeting has been scheduled to hold in Washington between the 4 and 5 June, 2012 as a way to undertake a review of the Bi-National Commission.
The Nigerian Envoy also said that the high-level meetings that will have about five Ministers from Nigeria and several top officials of the United States would involve all the five components of the Bi-National Commission (BNC).