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Viewing cable 08ABUJA320, S/NF) NIGERIA: KANO BUSINESSMAN ALLEGES YAR'ADUA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ABUJA320 2008-02-21 06:06 2010-12-08 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Abuja
VZCZCXRO3296
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #0320/01 0520630
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 210630Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2117
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 8760
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 000320 

SIPDIS 

NOFORN 
SIPDIS 

STATE FOR INR/AA, INR/B 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2033 
TAGS: PGOV PINR KCOR NI
SUBJECT: (S/NF) NIGERIA: KANO BUSINESSMAN ALLEGES YAR'ADUA 
CORRUPTION 

REF: 07 ABUJA 2627 

Classified By: Political Counselor Walter Pflaumer for Reasons 1.4 (b, 
c, & d). 

1. (S//NF) SUMMARY: XXXXXXXXXXXX alleged a close 
association between President Yar,Adua and Katsina native 
and rumored smuggler Dahiru Mangal. XXXXXXXXXXXX claimed Mangal 
is the President's "Mr. Fix It," taking care of "anything 
filthy" Yar'Adua needs done in addition to smuggling items 
for several wealthy Nigerian businessmen through Niger into 
Kano. Another Kano business contact corroborated XXXXXXXXXXXX 's 
allegations, but observed that Mangal no longer deals openly 
in illicit activity since Yar'Adua named him a special 
advisor earlier this month. As well, XXXXXXXXXXXX maintained that 
he had been approached by a man claiming to represent First 
Lady Turai Yar'Adua and seeking an USD 2 million pay-off. 
While Post cannot independently authenticate these 
allegations of corruption by the President or First Lady, 
Post has heard rumors of an emergent "Katsina clique" in the 
Presidential Villa. END SUMMARY. 

2. (S//NF) Kano real estate entrepreneur and longtime Mission 
contact XXXXXXXXXXXX told PolOff February 
10 that Katsina native Dahiru Mangal, who XXXXXXXXXXXX contends 
deals in illicit smuggling of goods into Nigeria, is also 
known as President Yar'Adua's "Mr. Fix It." XXXXXXXXXXXX alleged 
a close association between the President and Mangal, dating 
to the former's tenure as governor of Katsina, and claimed 
the latter remains to this day Yar'Adua's "go-to man" to 
accomplish "anything filthy that Yar'Adua needs done." 
Mangal, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, is also the "go-to" for any wealthy 
Nigerian, who wants to import "just about anything" into 
Nigeria. He declined to state whether Mangal smuggled 
weapons, drugs, or persons into Nigeria. (On February 17, 
PolOff queried another Kano business contact, who 
corroborated XXXXXXXXXXXX 's accusations, however claimed Mangal no 
longer goes by "Mr. Fix It" since Yar'Adua officially named 
him a special advisor earlier this month. Allegedly, 
Yar'Adua instructed Mangal to cease any illicit activity if 
Mangal wished to enjoy official recognition by the President. 
The contact implied this may connote, inter alia, that 
Yar'Adua desires to maintain at least the appearance of 
respect for rule of law, and thus, does not want any of his 
close advisors openly involved in suspect activity.) 

3. (S//NF) XXXXXXXXXXXX told PolOff XXXXXXXXXXXX
several Nigerian businessmen who have employed Mangal's
services over the past several years. Reportedly, Mangal owns a warehouse across 
the Niger border (likely close to the Katsina border with 
Jibiyya and Maradi) in which he stores hundreds of 40-foot 
shipping containers. XXXXXXXXXXXX claimed Mangal is able to 
import goods from around the world, including China. In 
return, Mangal requests a flat fee of 2 million naira (USD 
17,000), excluding the cost of goods. Approximately 100 
containers per month are brought into Kano, and goods are 
then delivered to clients or sold in Kano's Kurmi market. 

4. (S//NF) Mangal also operates several legitimate 
businesses, XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted, including Mangal Airlines. The 
National Hajj Commission of Nigeria contracted Kabo, 
Bellview, Meridian, and Mangal Airlines for the December 2007 
hajj operations, which transported approximately 100,000 
Nigerians to Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage. (Note: 
Many Nigerian Muslims have criticized the GON's handling of 
the 2007 hajj claiming several thousand Nigerians were left 
stranded in Saudi Arabia and could not return to Nigeria, 
except without extraordinary hardship, and several others 
were never airlifted from Nigeria at all. End Note.) 

5. (S//NF) Moreover, XXXXXXXXXXXX said XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX had been approached recently by a man claiming to speak on 
behalf of First Lady Turai Yar'Adua. The person, who arrived 
at the meeting with XXXXXXXXXXXX in a Peugeot with a 
"presidential" license plate, told XXXXXXXXXXXX the First Lady 
would "allow" them to construct the homes so long as she is 
given an advance payment of 250 million naira (USD 2 
million). XXXXXXXXXXXX said he was willing to offer the First 

ABUJA 00000320 002 OF 002 


Lady twenty plots of land instead, to which the presumed 
emissary grimaced. The negotiations, XXXXXXXXXXXX told PolOff, 
continue. 

6. (C//NF) NOTE: During a late January conversation with 
PolOff, XXXXXXXXXXXXX said XXXXXXXXXXXXX 
purchased an USD 10 million house in central London 
approximately 7 years ago, XXXXXXXXXXXXX. 
This house apparently was excluded from President 
Yar,Adua,s public declaration of assets in June 2007, which 
put his total wealth at approximately USD 7 million. END 
NOTE. 

7. (S//NF) COMMENT: While XXXXXXXXXXXX is a trusted, longtime 
Mission contact who has provided veracious information in the 
past, we cannot independently confirm his statements 
regarding Mangal or the First Lady. Certainly, the man who 
approached XXXXXXXXXXXXX seeking a pay-off may simply have been 
attempting to exploit the First Lady's name for personal 
enrichment. We have heard rumors of the emergence of a 
"Katsina clique" in the Villa -- a group of individuals from 
the President's home state of Katsina who reportedly 
constitute Yar'Adua's inner circle and increasingly, control 
access to him. The surfacing of this group may be a 
corrollary to Yar'Adua's lack of national exposure (and 
hence, his deficiently broad support base) and his inability 
thus far to stamp his authority on the ruling People's 
Democratic Party. Rumors abound alleging that the First 
Lady, Special Advisor Tanimu Yakubu, and Minister of 
Agriculture Sayyadi Ruma are involved in corrupt practices. 
Reports of both the First Lady and Yakubu's taste for the 
high life and tendencies toward illicit enrichment surfaced 
during a December 2007 debrief by XXXXXXXXXXXXX 
outlined problems he saw in the Villa and cases XXXXXXXXXXXXX
was closely watching (Ref A). 
Several contacts from XXXXXXXXXXXXX, moreover, maintain that while 
the President "appeared incorruptible" during his tenure as 
governor, his wife siphoned off millions in public funds for 
private use. Post will closely monitor these accusations and 
report any new developments. END COMMENT. 
SANDERS