Eko Hotel owner, Chagoury, sues FBI, US Justice Department over visa ban

eko-hotels-and-suites

Gilbert Chagoury, billionaire businessman and owner of Eko Hotels in Lagos Nigeria has filed a legal action against the US government and its agencies for Privacy Act Violations.

The case filed on Friday is the first to be made under the Judicial Redress Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in February this year.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that Mr. Chagoury, who was born in Nigeria and has dual citizenship, was barred from entering the United States and his visa request denied based on alleged links with a terrorist group.

Mr. Chagoury, who is also a big donor to the Clinton Foundation and has a home in Beverly Hills, California, was denied the visa on grounds that he gave financial support to a Lebanese politician, Michael Aoun.

According to the report, Aoun’s party is in political coalition with Hezbollah, tagged a terrorist organisation by the US.

Hezbollah terror tag stemmed from the double bombings in 1983, killing 63 at the U.S. embassy in Beirut and 241 at a Marine barracks later that year.

In 2013 an FBI intelligence report claimed Chagoury sent funds to Aoun, who, in turn, gave the money to Hezbollah. The report said the information was unverified from a source, who also said the Lebanese Christian politician was ‘facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah.’

In the filing before the court in the District of Columbia, Mr. Chagoury contends that the information is wrong and that he was injured by the US agencies which leaked it to the media.

According to a report by PRNewswire, Mr. Chagoury contends that the US agencies have caused great damage to his reputation and property, and denied his Constitutional right to due process.

The defendants in the case are the FBI, the Department of Justice, the National Counter Terrorism Center, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and US Customs and Border Protection.

In the filing by his lawyers, Mr. Chagoury is said to have an exceptional record of public service and demonstrated commitment to core American values such as religious freedom.

His lawyer said despite Mr. Chagoury’s well-known love of the United States and his numerous, generous charitable contributions over 35 years of visiting America, he was denied a visa by the United States Department of State in 2015.

“This decision was based on false information. This injustice was compounded when anonymous employees of the US Government leaked information to the media about the denial of Mr. Chagoury’s visa application, including the false information that led to the visa denial.

Gilbert Chagoury,
Gilbert Chagoury,

“Because Gilbert Chagoury is a successful businessman, an influential advocate for religious freedom, a global philanthropist and a friend of prominent political leaders including many here in the United States, the LA Times published the story.

“This was a deliberate, outrageous and unlawful leak of information and more importantly, misinformation about Gilbert Chagoury. It violated the Privacy Act, the Judicial Redress Act, and his right to due process. He is suing to recover his reputation and the property and business interests that have been unjustly harmed by this irresponsible action,” said Stewart Baker of Steptoe and Johnson, LLP, attorney for Mr. Chagoury.

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552a(b), the FBI, DOJ, NCTC, State Department, DHS, and CBP may not “disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency” unless certain exceptions apply. At no point in time did Mr. Chagoury provide the Government with either verbal or written consent to disclose any information or misinformation concerning him to third parties.

While US citizens have long been protected by the Privacy Act, until recently, foreign nationals have not had recourse under that statute when their privacy has been violated by the US Government. The Judicial Redress Act extends those Privacy Act protections to citizens of certain other countries.

Signed into law by President Barack Obama in February 2016, the Judicial Redress Act allows foreign citizens in European countries to sue the United States for unlawful disclosure of personal information   under the terms of the Privacy Act.

Mr. Chagoury, a citizen of the United Kingdom, is bringing the first suit under the Judicial Redress Act.

“All of my life, from when I was a boy in Nigeria, I have loved America because it was the land of freedom and justice,” Mr. Chagoury said.

“I started coming to the United States over 35 years ago and have done everything I can to help America over my long career. I have close family members who are US citizens. To be falsely linked to terrorism and then have my reputation smeared in the media is an injustice that I could not allow to go unanswered.

“I have always been told that American justice demands due process, yet I was given no explanation for having my visa revoked and no opportunity to rebut these falsehoods before my reputation was dragged through the mud. That is not the America I know and love. I only want to clear my name.

“The lawyers said the intentional leak to the media of false information about Mr. Chagoury was a repeat of a similar unlawful incident from 2010, when he was wrongly placed on the no-fly list, without notice or opportunity to be heard, and his placement on the no-fly list was leaked to the media.

“When challenged with facts, the U.S. Government reversed that decision, formally apologized and allowed him to travel to the United States, which he did multiple times without incident until recently.

“As an important industrialist in Nigeria, and an ambassador to the Holy See and UNESCO, Mr. Chagoury has assisted the U.S. whenever possible, and U.S. Ambassadors and officials often call him to help solve their problems.

“The Chagourys have been coming to Los Angeles for over 35 years. They frequently visit family members who are United States citizens and live in the United States.

“Their love of America has led the Chagourys to give generously to several American charitable organizations including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Beverly Hills 9-11 Memorial.

Following a WikiLeaks publication, Mr. Chagoury’s name has also been an issue in Hillary Clinton campaign for US presidency, with Donald Trump, among others, using his link with the Clinton Foundation to accuse the Clintons of offering favours to the businessman.

The businessman’s trouble with American security officials began in 2010, when he was pulled off a private jet in Teterboro, New Jersey, and questioned by Homeland Security officials for four hours because his name was now on the no-fly list within the United States.

Mr. Chagoury later received a letter that said his name was taken off the list and he was now considered a ‘selectee,’ meaning he was allowed to fly, but would receive extra scrutiny.

Mr. Chagoury’s name was later added to a database used to screen passengers for terror links, a linkage he has denied.

Mr. Chagoury was born in 1946 in Nigeria to Lebanese parents, but was educated at the Collège des Frères in Lebanon.

He is married to Rose-Marie Chamchoum, also a Lebanese with links to Niger Republic.

The couple has four children, Ramez, Gilbert-Antoine, Christopher and Anne-Marie.

As a businessman, Mr. Chagoury has been a confidant of many African leaders and serves as ambassador of St Lucia, in the Americas.

His business empire has interests in construction, real estate, property development and hotels.

He co-founded the Chagoury Group with his younger brother Ronald Chagoury in 1971. Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury founded C & C Construction in the late 1970s, which was the forerunner of Hitech and ITB.

The family has an estimated wealth of $4.2 billion.

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  • amazing2012

    …all of them Christians ! Christians are terrorists and judas who commits killing of innocents women and children and play victim !

    • forestgee

      What do you call the lepers & donkeys (herdsmen, BH, etc) who are ruling you today?

      • KRISTOS

        Christian are not terrorist we know who the terrorist are and they are the Muslims and the so called donkeys who are ruling the country

        • Eluba Inas

          I wish you have read my response before writing this trash. This narrow mindedness expressed by amazing2012, forestgee and you is indeed troubling.

        • amazing2012

          Who define terrorists ? Christians that bombed and killed over a billion ?

          List of countries bombed by Christian terrorist since the end of World War II China 1945-46
          First World War
          Second World War
          Korea 1950-53
          China 1950-53
          Guatemala 1954
          Indonesia 1958
          Cuba 1959-60
          Guatemala 1960
          Belgian Congo 1964
          Guatemala 1964
          Dominican Republic 1965-66
          Peru 1965
          Laos 1964-73
          Vietnam 1961-73
          Cambodia 1969-70
          Guatemala 1967-69
          Lebanon 1982-84
          Grenada 1983-84
          Libya 1986
          El Salvador 1981-92
          Nicaragua 1981-90
          Iran 1987-88
          Libya 1989
          Panama 1989-90
          Iraq 1991
          Kuwait 1991
          Somalia 1992-94
          Bosnia 1995
          Iran 1998
          Sudan 1998
          Afghanistan 1998
          Yugoslavia – Serbia 1999
          Afghanistan 2001
          Libya 2011
          Syria to date
          Yemen 2014 to date
          Besides killing of over 100 million red Indians in American continent.
          In total over a billion people were killed by Christians !
          Christians under USA has 900 bases in 153 countries for direct killing of innocents women and children.

      • amazing2012

        No on your table ! My table is full with foods and beverages. Because my destiny is not at the hand of any body !! You tut believe on someone, should have that Person your savior !!!

    • Eluba Inas

      Do not fall for the bigotry of those who lump all Muslims as terrorists. Mr. Chagoury is a shrewd business man, if you have anything contrary to that, then produce it. No any fact has been produced so far to show any act direct or indirect of inciting violence or act of terrorism against him.

    • emmanuel

      Do you believe the name called Judas? how did you come about that?
      Mohammed your dead and rotten prophet who is hob-nobbing with asewo and peoples wives he snatch while he leaved as a gangster, was disppointed he did not get virgins in hell, except that he has been gnashing his teeth in hell.
      Even Abach too has joined him. The er special fooloanis asewos waiting for you in hell too, in your case to flog you with fiery koboko!

      • Eluba Inas

        Amazing2012 and emmanuel are not helping the matter. Nobody is going to change other’s beliefs through social media. These insults you are hurling at each other helps no one and simply creates more hate and resentment.

        • marcos avelino

          You abuse other peoples saviour shows you have no sense moron some europeans think jesus was a homo and the jews think his mother was a harlot can you prove otherwise. Dont throw stones while you live in glass house respect yourself dirty maggot

          • Eluba Inas

            You are a total fucked up, else you would read your response first before post it on the wrong thread.

      • amazing2012

        A statement of anger and prostration from a deranged mind. No fact, no source and no prove just confirming of ignorance. Notwithstanding, judas is a hero in Christianity because without judas (betrayal) there will not be CRUCIFICATION and without CRUCIFICATION there will not be attornment of sin. So you see how Satanically inspired man become important in your fake faith. Because if judas is a hero then Christianity is founded on betrayal and dishonesty.
        On virgins, please show me where virgin/s were mention in Islam. Unfortunately virgins were only found in Christianity and hence why catholic priests abuse underaged children:
        1. Judges 21:12″And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-FOUR HUNDRED (400) VIRGINS, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan ”
        2. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their LITTLE ONES (Virgins) and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. -Numbers 31:9
        3. (For the men of war had taken spoil (including girls) , every man for himself.) -Numbers 31:53
        4. But the women, and the LITTLE ONES (under aged virgins/minors) , and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. -Deuteronomy 20:14
        5. And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and DAUGHTERS (virgins), and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. -2 Chronicles 28:8
        6. Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, BOTH LITTLE ONES (virgins) AND WOMEN and to take the spoil of them for a prey, -Esther 8:11
        7. Luke 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,30 Who shall not receive MANIFOLD more (of wives & and others) in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
        I AM WAITING FOR YOUR POINTS !

        • amazing2012

          Yours is astatement of anger and FRUSTRATION from a deranged mind. No fact, no source and no prove just confirming of ignorance. Notwithstanding, judas is a hero in Christianity because without judas (betrayal) there will not be CRUCIFICATION and without CRUCIFICATION there will not be attornment of sin. So you see how Satanically inspired man become important in your fake faith. Because if judas is a hero then Christianity is founded on betrayal and dishonesty.
          On virgins, please show me where virgin/s were mention in Islam. Unfortunately virgins were only found in Christianity and hence why catholic priests abuse underaged children:
          1. Judges 21:12″And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-FOUR HUNDRED (400) VIRGINS, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan ”
          2. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their LITTLE ONES (Virgins) and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. -Numbers 31:9
          3. (For the men of war had taken spoil (including girls) , every man for himself.) -Numbers 31:53
          4. But the women, and the LITTLE ONES (under aged virgins/minors) , and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. -Deuteronomy 20:14
          5. And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and DAUGHTERS (virgins), and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. -2 Chronicles 28:8
          6. Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, BOTH LITTLE ONES (virgins) AND WOMEN and to take the spoil of them for a prey, -Esther 8:11
          7. Luke 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,30 Who shall not receive MANIFOLD more (of wives & and others) in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
          I AM WAITING FOR YOUR POINTS !

    • marcos avelino

      I told you to stop responding to these mad christians here they are all frustrated hedonist in rage with the world os they cant have its lucre . They are intensively sick minds with hatred filled up

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Mr. Chagoury is probably more Nigerian than he is a Lebanese. So, as a typical Nigerian, he went around thinking that he was above the law because of his wealth, without considering who he was associating with. A typical Lebanese would have been more cautious after his first 2010 incidence.

    • ACTION MAN

      Does he see himself as a Nigerian? Is he also lebanese citizen?

  • Sir Louis

    A lesson for all those who run after the citizenship of foreign countries instead of doing their utmost to develop their original country. Chagoury is said to be born in Nigeria but he is also a US citizen and has made handsome contributions to the Clinton foundation and probably a friend to the terrorist loving Clinton’s. Now that he has been denied US visa and effectively barred from the country, he should call on the Clinton’s to assist him. I am sure he would have made a handsome contribution and is equally praying fervently for a Clinton victory in the November polls. This will hopefully not happen.

    • tony10

      Chagoury is a dual Nigerian-Lebanese citizen and not dual American citizen. Logically as a citizen the issue would have been citizenship withdrawal not visa denial.

    • musa aliyu

      No. Chagoury is Nigerian, British, and Lebanese. Read the story again

    • Tunsj

      If he is a US citizen, he doesn’t need any visa to visit US.

      • aisha ani

        Lol!

    • Umar Dendi

      Dumb jack

    • Peter_Edo

      not US citizen, rather UK

  • Tori Osa

    this guy dey crase sha

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