Chagoury Denies Using Donations To Clinton Foundation For State Dept Favours

Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, Mr. Gilbert Chagoury, has denied United States media reports alleging that he capitalised on his donations to the Clinton Foundation to seek favours from the US Department of State, when Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

Following donations of between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, an aide of former President Bill Clinton, Doug Band, was reported to have pushed for access for Chagoury after Hillary Clinton took over at the State Department.

In 2009, Band wrote his friends in the department. “We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance guy in Lebanon. As you know he’s key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”

Huma Abedin, a longtime aide and confidante to Clinton and now vice-chairwoman of her presidential campaign, had suggested to former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey D. Feltman.

However, the Los Angeles Times newspaper quoted both Feltman and Chagoury’s friend and spokesman Mark Corallo on Monday as saying that no meeting ever happened.

Chagoury wanted only to pass along insights on Lebanese politics, Corallo said, adding that “nothing ever came off it” and that Chagoury never talked to anyone at the State Department. Band declined to comment, reported the L.A. Times.

When Band’s email was made public this month, Republican Party presidential candidate and real estate billionaire Donald Trump had pounced on it, calling the Chagoury episode “illegal” and a “pay-to-play” scheme.

In the report, the L.A. Times described Chagoury as one of Africa’s richest men, who has built a reputation as a giant of global philanthropy.

Read More: thisdaylive

Aisha Buhari’s Book: Guests Refuse To Disclose Donations

Dignitaries who on Thursday attended the public presentation of a book written by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, deliberately refused to make their donations public.

 It was not clear whether their decision was based on the present administration’s anti-graft posture.

 The prominent Nigerians converged on the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for the presentation of Mrs. Buhari’s book, “The Essentials of Beauty Therapy: A Complete Guide for Beauty Therapy.”

 The proceeds from the presentation, the organisers said, would be sent to parents of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in April, 2014 and the parents of the boys abducted in Buni Yadi.

 Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo started the secret donation when he announced that Mrs. Buhari should not expect any big donation from him because he and the President were on half salaries.

 He added that he would not be able to donate big money because “Buhari is very strict on money matters.”

 “The President and I are on half salaries. The President is very strict on money issues. So, don’t expect me to make a large donation,” he said.

 Osinbajo said the presentation of the book highlighted the importance of the girl-child education as he observed that if the wife of the President had not got the opportunity to go to school, she would not have been able to write the book and teach others.

 He said, “Girl-child education is still an issue, girls not having the opportunity to go to school. If the wife of the President didn’t have the opportunity to go to school, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity to reach others.

 “It emphasises the importance of education. Her desire to dedicate the proceeds of the presentation to the victims of insurgency and particularly the families of the Chibok girls is commendable.”

 The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was the chairman of the occasion, also failed to announce his donation.

 Tinubu, who was represented by his wife, Oluremi, however, commended Mrs. Buhari for her decision to invest the proceeds in charity.

 On the importance of the book, the APC leader said Nigeria and Nigerians needed to begin to pay attention to beauty industry which he said was capable of generating income and employment.

 He also stressed the need to set up beauty and therapy schools where interested persons would be properly trained.

 The book presenter, Senator Daisy Danjuma, also failed to make her donation public.

 She however commended Mrs. Buhari for writing the book.

 The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who spoke on behalf of the 36 state governors, also followed the same line.

Although, he promised that state governors would make the books available to all the local government areas in the country, he did not announce how much they would pay.

Others who spoke but failed to announce their donations were the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Musa’udu Kazaure; the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Prof. Abdusalami Nasidi; and the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr. Zainab Bagudu.

Credit: Punch

US Donates 24 Mine Resistant Vehicles Worth $11m To Nigerian Army

he United States will today donate 24 mine resistant armor military vehicles to the Nigerian army as part of its promises to aid Nigeria in it’s fight against the dreaded terrorist group- Boko Haram.

The vehicles worth $11m will be given to military officials at the Nigerian Army 9th Brigade Parade ground,Ikeja. A statement yesterday, by the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General Lagos, said:

“The US is pleased to donate 24 Mine-Resistant, Armor-Protected (MRAP) vehicles valued at $11m to Nigeria’s military authorities. “The equipment donation represents part of the continuing US commitment to Nigeria and its neighbours to counter Boko Haram’s senseless acts of terror and promote regional security.”