President Muhammadu Buhari administration has reportedly acquired the services of a lobbying firm with offices in the United Kingdom and the United States to undertake ‘outreach and relationship building with various stakeholders.’
This is coming about a month after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar last April hired the services of lobbying firm Fein & DelValle PLLC to help push narratives that support his challenge of the result of the 2019 presidential election among top US politicians and lawmakers.
Details of Atiku’s contract obtained from the website of the United States’ Department of Justice Foreign Agents’ Registration Act (FARA) website, shows that Fein and DelValle will on behalf of Abubakar:
“Meet and consult with members of Congress and staff in an effort to pass House and Senate resolution(s) to forebear from a final declaration and recognition of a winner of the 2019 Federal Republic of Nigeria presidential election pending legal challenges to the initial assertion that incumbent President Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the Nigerian judiciary in accordance with the rule of law and due process, free from military or political influence.”
The documents also revealed that the former Vice President agreed to pay the firm $30,000 (about N10.8 million).
Also, the Buhari administration through the office of the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Ministry of Justice, have agreed to pay another lobbying firm, Pagefield Global, with offices in London and Washington, about N10 million monthly.
Documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES from the FARA website show that Pagefield Global was hired on May 2 to give “public affairs and public relations advice and monitoring, undertaking outreach and relationship building with various stakeholders and the media in connection with legal disputes that the Solicitor General is conducting on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
According to the documents, the lobbying firm will deal directly with Dayo Apata, Nigeria’s Solicitor General.
In a bid prevent the deal from public scrutiny, the Nigerian government opted for a non-written contract with Pagefield Global where it agreed to pay the lobbying firm a monthly fee of about N10 million.
“There is no written contract between the parties. Our understanding is that we will be paid £21,600 per month by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on a one month notice period,” Pagefield wrote in its registration statement submitted to the Department of Justice.
When reached for comment, Mr Apata denied knowledge of the contract.
“Please disregard that. It couldn’t be from the Ministry of Justice,” he said.
But when told that his name was mentioned in the document as the contact person in the Ministry of Justice, he said he needed to look at the documents and “confirm with his boss and then get back to you.”