The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has confirmed his arrival in the United States.
Mr Abubukar has long been challenged to visit the United States by the ruling party, arguing that the former vice president had case to answer in the US.
But in a post on Twitter, he said: “Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community. -AA”, with a photograph, showing him clutching a bouquet of flowers, along with Senate President Bukola Saraki and a lady.
The Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC, had said it was not sure if the former Vice-President would be visiting the United States any moment soon.
Mr Atiku was said to have been issued last December with a US visa for the first time in 13 years. The visa was reportedly facilitated by his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, a former foe, turned campaign endorser.
But reports said Atiku sensed the visa could be a trap by the Americans and thus asked for guarantee from the US government that he would not be arrested over a case of money laundering, for which there were reports of a sealed indictment by the US Justice Department.
In another case, former congressman William Jefferson was jailed for 13 years for accepting a bribe from an investor, Lori Mody, who was wearing a wire. Jefferson told the investor that he would need to give then Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar $500,000 “as a motivating factor” to make sure the company obtained contracts for iGate and Mody’s company in Nigeria.