A luxury mansion co-owned by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas, in the posh neighbourhood of Potomac, Maryland, United States, has been auctioned.
The property gained international notoriety in 2005 after it was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in connection with a bribery scandal involving disgraced former U.S. Congressman, William Jefferson.
The seven-bedroom cream-coloured single family brick house on 9731 Sorrel Ave, Potomac, Maryland, was originally listed for $3.25 million on Zillow and other online real estate websites on January 25, 2018 but was eventually sold for a pending offer of $2.95 million on February 26, 2018 after an online auction.
A pending offer means a buyer and seller of the property have reached a deal. However, a buyer can still pull out from the deal (which is very unlikely) if they cannot resolve issues like cost of repair or they cannot get a bank to approve a loan for the purchase of the property.
Tax records from the Montgomery County, Washington DC, show that Ms. Douglas consistently paid property taxes on the mansion from 1999 to 2016. She, however, is in default of $27,913.77 being that for 2017.
The house was not in foreclosure as it was paid for completely by the Atikus and available records showed that no bank loan was involved in its purchase.
The sale of the mansion was not listed as a public auction, which is an auction done under a court order on behalf of government or its agencies.
There is also no evidence that the sale is connected to the now infamous 2005 case or any other unknown criminal investigations.
Paul Ibe, the spokesperson for Me. Abubakar, told PREMIUM TIMES the sale of the mansion was voluntary and strictly an investment decision.
“Atiku Abubakar is a successful businessman who has a long history of real estate investments,” Mr. Ibe said in response to an enquiry by this newspaper.
“The U.S. home was simply one of such numerous investments. The home was no longer serving the purpose for which it was bought. Consequently, it has to be put up for sale via open auction, a growing and preferred method of selling high end properties. The proceeds thereof will be deployed to business aimed at creating jobs.”
Mr. Abubakar has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the Jefferson corruption saga that led to the search of his home.
But the former vice president’s political rivals have always harped on that episode to discredit him. is more, Mr. Abubakar, believed to be nursing a fresh bid to become president of Nigeria in 2019 after several failed attempts, has not travelled to the U.S. for a long time. That has fuelled speculations that he might be avoiding a possible arrest or prosecution.
But in an interview with the BOSS newspaper last December, he explained he had made attempts to visit the U.S. but was turned down for administrative reasons.