FLASHBACK: The Dollar Link Between Jailed US Congressman Jefferson and Atiku Abubakar

April 8, 2023

On November 13, 2009, the US District Court of Virginia, through Judge T.S. Ellis III, sentenced Congressman William J. Jefferson to 13 years in prison for bribery and corruption after a thoroughgoing investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

For “his stunning betrayal of public trust”, the court in a 37-page document charged Jefferson on eleven counts including money laundering, racketeering, and conspiracy with African governments in a bid to promote and expand his “telecommunications deals in Nigeria, Ghana, and elsewhere; oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea; satellite transmission contracts in Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo; and development of different plants and facilities in Nigeria”.

“His crimes included no fewer than eleven distinct bribe schemes as well as a conspiracy involving an extraordinarily and historically unprecedented agreement to bribe the then-sitting Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubabar.”

Jefferson, a Louisiana Democratic House of Representative member who described Abubabar as “really corrupt”, had sold his congressional office as a “criminal enterprise to enrich himself by soliciting and accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to support his business ventures in Africa”


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