EXCLUSIVE: Buhari administration hires American lobbying firm one month after Atiku’s engagement

A group photo of President Buhari and Ministers
A group photo of President Buhari and Ministers

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired the services of an image-laundering and lobbying firm with offices in the United Kingdom and the United States to undertake ‘outreach and relationship building with various stakeholders’ PREMIUM TIMES can exclusively report.

The hiring comes about a month after Atiku Abubakar last April hired the services of lobbying firm Fein & DelValle PLLC, founded by a former Justice Department employee, Bruce Fein, to help push narratives that support his challenge of the result of the presidential election among top US politicians.

According to details of Mr Abubakar’s contract obtained from the website of the United States’ Department of Justice Foreign Agents’ Registration Act (FARA) website, Fein and DelValle will on behalf of Mr 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 Mr Abubakar agreed to pay the lobbying firm $30,000 (about N10.8 million) to cover costs and expenses for the services.

In what could be a response to Mr Abubakar’s move, the Buhari administration through the office of the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Ministry of Justice, 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, Pagefield Global will deal directly with Dayo Apata, Nigeria’s Solicitor General.

Perhaps 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.


nlng Campaign AD

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.


wits Advert

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.”

Garba Shehu, a spokesperson to Mr Buhari, did not answer or return calls made to his mobile phone. He also has not responded to a request sent to him via sms for comment.

This is not the first time the Ministry of Justice will be acquiring the services of a U.S. lobbying firm. In May 2018, the justice minister, Abubakar Malami, hired two American lobbying firms to plant opinion articles favourable to the Buhari administration in American newspapers.

The value of the verbal contract, which was done through a Nigerian public relations firm, Channel Koos, was not disclosed. However, Channel Koos was paid $8,000 for helping to hire the two U.S. lobbying firms.


SGF Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.