EXCLUSIVE: Ex-minister, Mike Aondoakaa, sues U.S. government over visa revocation

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mike Aondoakaa

Disgraced former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, has sued the American government, seeking explanation for the revocation of his U.S. non-immigrant visa.

The U.S. government had revoked Mr Aondoakaa’s visa and those of members of his family soon after he left office due to his alleged link to corruption.

An unnamed U.S. diplomat, who spoke to Punch Newspapers at the time, confirmed that the former minister’s visa was revoked under Proclamation 7750 that empowers the U.S. authorities to bar anyone with links to corruption from entering the U.S.

However, further details about the revocation were not disclosed.

PREMIUM TIMES can report today that the former minister filed a case against the State Department after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed was turned down.

He then approached a United States District Court asking it to compel the U.S. to release documents related to the revocation of his visa to him, according to court papers exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

The suit, filed in a US district Court, District of New Jersey, by Mr Aondoakaa’s U.S. attorney, Thomas Moseley, was instituted few weeks after the ex-minister denied he was banned from entering the U.S.

“I have not been banned from entering the United States and I have my visa intact,” Mr Aondoakaa had said in a statement released on June 26, 2010.

“Secondly, none of my relatives has a student visa to the United States as claimed by some publications. Therefore, the US Government cannot revoke what they did not issue.”

However, the court documents shows that on August 10, 2010, Mr Moseley filed the FOIA suit against the US Department of State asking for the release of documents showing reasons why his client’s visa was revoked.

“This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as amended, 5 U.S.C & 552 et seq. to enjoin the defendant from withholding certain records sought by the plaintiff including document relevant to the reasons for which his non-immigrant visa was revoked,” the court documents read.

However, the Department of State did not provide the details sought by Mr Aondoakaa after the expiration of 20 days statutory period for the documents to be provided.

Mr Aondoakaa therefore asked the court to order the State Department to make the documents he sought available to him in “their entirety.” He asked the court to award him the cost of disbursement plus attorney fee as well as expediting the proceedings of the complaint.

The documents seen by Premium Times also included an unsigned court summon ordering the Department of State to provide Mr Aondoakaa the information he sought.

“A lawsuit has been filed against you. Within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) – or 60 days if you are the United State or a United State agency or an officer or an employee of the United State… you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached compliant or a motion under rule 12 of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.”

“If you fail to respond, judgement by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint.”

It is unclear whether the State Department eventually provided my Aondoakaa the details he sought.

The State Department and the United States embassy in Nigeria did not respond to emails sent to them.

Mr Aondoakaa, who is believed to be nursing a governorship ambition in his native state of Benue, couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone number for comment on the suit. He didn’t answer or return calls.

His attorney, Mr Moseley, also did not respond to our email neither did he return our calls.

The many sins of Aondoakaa

Mr Aondoakaa, a prominent member of late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s government, was notorious for his brash support of the government and his shameless defence of corrupt former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is now serving a 13-year prison term in the United Kingdom for money laundering offences.

As Attorney General, Mr Aondoakaa did everything to block the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting Mr Ibori and other corrupt officials.

He lied to British investigators requesting information on the former governor under the Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty between both countries.

Mr Aondoakaa also wrote a letter saying Mr Ibori had not been charged to any court in Nigeria. That was after the EFCC had charged Mr Ibori to court soon after he left office as governor.

True to his nature, Mr Aondoakaa denied writing any such letter but was forced to shamefully recant after a copy of the letter was published in the media.

He also declined the request by the London Metropolitan Police to allow officials of the EFCC to stand as prosecuting witness against Mr Ibori.

On September 18, 2007, the former minister wrote a letter to French authorities questioning the appropriateness of prosecuting former oil minister Dan Etete, implicated in the N155 billion Malabu Oil scandal, for money laundering since Nigeria had neither complained nor investigated Mr Etete for the said crime.

“Permit me to state for the avoidance of any doubt that this office is unaware of any complaint or allegation of money laundering against the petitioner (Etete) to warrant any instruction to emanate from this office to any person howsoever called or described to proceed against the petitioner in relation to the ongoing prosecution in Paris,” he wrote.

Mr Etete was later convicted for money laundering offences by a Paris court.

He also shielded the owners of Globe Motors, Vaswani Brothers from investigation and prosecution. The brothers were later indicted and deported by the government for gross corruption on the Nigerian people.

Deliberately misinterpreting the law

As Nigeria’s chief legal officer, Mr Aondoakaa ironically showed a high disregard for the law of the country. When he is not deliberately misinterpreting laws to shield his corrupt cronies, he is busy displaying schoolboy ignorance of the tenets of local and international laws.

One of Mr Aondoakaa’s pastime as Minister of Justice was his endless berating of UK authorities over the indictment of serial fraudster, Mr. Ibori. Mr Aondoakaa argued that the indictment of corrupt Nigerians by foreign authorities was a usurpation of Nigerian jurisdiction. He apparently was unaware that international law allows countries to assume jurisdiction for offences committed outside their national boarders especially where such offences have international implication.

Debarred

In 2010, the Legal Privileges Committee (LPPC) suspended Mr Aondoakaa from using the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria for two years following a petition by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and a ruling by a Calabar Federal High Court on June 1, 2010, that he was unfit to hold the office of the Attorney General or any public office in Nigeria.

The statement by the LPPC at the time read, “After due consideration of the said response, has decided in its wisdom, to suspend him [Aondoakaa] from the use of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and all other privileges attached to that rank, pending the outcome of the investigation by the sub-committee set up by the legal practitioners privileges committee.”


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  • akpos1

    Nonsense! Revoking US visa. What does that do for the SS&SE Republic citizens whose oil monies have been stolen and stashed away in US banks & economy? ….& guess what, ignorant & gullible citizens of continent Nigeria will begin to applaud the useless move by the useless egocentric American government.

    …Frankly, if the US is serious then why not identify ALL investments by these Thieves from Nigeria who have stolen over the years and invested in US. Will US say it did not know or does not know when a “Nigerian” government official comes into US & begins to keep Dollars in banks? Will they say they do not know when these guys buy property in choice areas? So, why will the US govt welcome the thieves with open arms, receive the stolen monies from them, allow them to invest in US economy & then turn around to tell “Nigerians” that they are revoking just mere visa. This is a most STUPID thing to say and even more stupid is the fact that very many idiotic Nigerians will begin to praise this demented US govt …a govt that really feels “Nigerians” don’t know their left from their right & therefore will not understand the tactic. Indeed, the US is right..Inferiority complex runs in most Nigerians & therefore they may not even see the stupidity in the US move.

    Oh….Gideon Orkar, may your soul & the soul of the faithful departed rest in peace. Your recommendation of excision of the Northern states remains the succinct workable model. But an ammendment to that model will be the inclusion of the Western states. The oily SS&SE Republic has no business with these parasites who contribute nothing to continent Nigeria but violence & thievery.

    Verily verily I say unto you, Nigeria is not a country but a continent. Break up NOW!!!

  • titus

    Justice is coming, coming , coming .

  • beatrice

    The Presidency, all corrupt ministers and govt official under President Jonathan, including members of their family, please take note. Temporary Presidential pardons will not save you.

  • igbiki

    Let him spend some of his dwindling loot, two years on what has the court action produced. Nothing

  • Rukevwe

    @ccb377046755943548e8252aa669fd7e:disqus, I guess that, you are an Indigbo and not from any of the tribes in the SS. Your SS & SE Republic is no realisable. The SS people cannot join SE in a Republic. Your Biafra is limited to only SE while, we’ll have our Niger Delta Republic in SS. Please, find out the reason that Landed property up till today is not sold to Indigbo in Omoku an Ogba town ( the headquater of Ogba, Egbema, Ndonni LGA of Rivers State) , a town of less than 50 km from Owerri and Oguta (Imo State). Wake up bros Nnamdi/Emeka…….nobe only akpos1, na Onagite10 or Boma100…..Mchew

  • ayodeji babawale

    akpos1/AFAM/DERI/MPITKWELU
    I have just ONE comment. First these are your words “What does that do for the SS&SE Republic citizens whose oil monies
    have been stolen and stashed away in US banks & economy? .” I have helped you cut and paste. I believe the thief Alamieyeseigha is a “citizen” of the Republic of SS and SE. Now Alamieyeseigha has properties in Maryland USA which he used the money he stole from the treasury to buy. So who put it there? Did I or Did you of Did the thieves themselves STEAL MONIES AND STASH THEM AWAY IN THE SAME US BANKS. THEY THEN SEND PEOPLE LIKE YOU ON THE STREETS TO DEFEND THEM AND CONFUSE THE INNOCENT NIGERIAN YOUTHS WITH YOUR ETHNIC POLITICS. MY SIMPLE QUESTION IS : WHO STOLE PUBLIC MONEY, LAUNDERED THE MONEY, AND USED IT TO BUY PROPERTIES IN MARYLAND USA ? YOU OR ME OR ALAMIEYESEIGHA? AND WHO THE IS SUFFERING FROM INFERIORITY COMPLEX? NEXT TIME BEFORE YOU TALK DO THE FOLLOWING (I) ADVISE MRS JONATHAN NOT TO GO TO GERMANY FOR HER “HEALTH” ANYMORE. (II) ADVISE THE SECOND ONE MRS DIEZANI ALISON MADUEKE NOT TO GO TO BRITAIN FOR HEALTH. (III) ASK ALL MINISTERS UNDER PRESIDENT JONATHAN TO RETURN ALL THE AMERICAN GREEN CARD IN THEIR HANDS TO AMERICAN STATE. OKAY? THAT IS WHEN WE WILL KNOW THAT OGA AND HIS RETINUE OF LOOTERS CALLED MINISTERS DO NOT SUFFER FROM INFERIORITY COMPLEX. SORRY BEFORE I LEAVE ASK THEM TO RECALL ALL THEIR CHILDREN STUDYING IN THE US AND THEY SHOULD NOT GO TO GHANA , THEY SHOULD RETURN TO NIGERIAN SCHOOLS.

  • angryniger

    this same man tried everything to block the path of justice when he was attorney general, infact he behaved worse than a common crimminal. So he wants to challenge te withdrawal of his US visa, he does not stand a chsnce in hell. Abi na by force, they say they don’t want his sort in their country, i.e you have a right to whom you want visiting you, would you willingly open your door to armed robbers?, the answer is a big NO, Aoandoaka is worse than an armed robber, so the US have said, NO, He cannot bribe his way their like his sort are prone to doing, it’s not business as usual, GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH

  • Ayemi

    Honestly, this man called Aondoakaa should be crying bitterly by now because this a big shame on him. I mean a big shame on him (The whole Attorney General of a Federation). To tell you the truth, this is just a sample of what will happen to all Nigerian politicians and their families. The America is simply telling you guys to go and build your country and stop running away from your responsibilities. This is a message for you all before they begin to disgrace you like crazy ooo!!! A word is enough for the wise!!!

  • Rukevwe

    akpos1, I guess that, you are an Indigbo and not from any of the tribes in the SS. Your SS & SE Republic is no realisable. The SS people cannot join SE in a Republic. Your Biafra is limited to only SE while, we’ll have our Niger Delta Republic in SS. Please, find out the reason that Landed property up till today is not sold to Indigbo in Omoku an Ogba town ( the headquater of Ogba, Egbema, Ndonni LGA of Rivers State) , a town of less than 50 km from Owerri and Oguta (Imo State). Wake up bros Nnamdi/Emeka…….nobe only akpos1, na Onagite10 or Boma100…..Mchew