The Indigenous People of Biafra has confirmed that it has engaged an American firm in a N300 million deal to lobby the self-determination agitation of Biafra with the American government.
PREMIUM TIMES has reported on Tuesday morning that the Nnamdi Kanu-led group has hired a lobbying firm in the United States to help win the support of the Joe Biden-led government in securing a Biafra sovereign nation.
It was said that the one-year deal is scheduled to last for 12 months and is costing Mr Kanu and IPOB $750,000, which is over N300 million at the current official exchange rate of N410 to one U.S. dollar.
PREMIUM TIMES is in possession of the contract papers which Mr Kanu signed with the BW Global Group (BWGG LLC), in February.
The firm, co-owned by Jeffrey Birrel and Alan White, is registered in Washington D.C, the US capital, which has a high concentration of top government officials, lawmakers, policymakers, and opinion leaders, who IPOB is trying to engage on the rightfulness and necessity of its cause.
The agreement, which took effect from March 1, 2021, came months after an earlier one struck by Mr Kanu with another U.S.-based lobbying entity, Mercury Public Affairs LLC, expired.
Under the old contract, IPOB, through Mr Kanu, paid $85,000 per month beginning September 23, 2019, in addition to a $5,000 one-time compliance fee.
That means Mr Kanu paid $1,025,000 for the 12-month contract, which is approximately N400million, based on the prevailing official exchange rate at the time (N380 to a dollar).
Reacting to the report on Tuesday, the IPOB’s spokesman, Emma Powerful told SaharaReporters that the Biafra separatist group hired a lobby firm in a N300 million deal to win the support of the US in fast-tracking the Biafra agitation.
“Yes, it’s true we hired another lobbying group in the USA to facilitate the coming and recognition of Biafra independence. We engaged them with the wholesome amount of N300 million about $750, 000 to lobby for Biafra freedom in America and the whole world,” Powerful disclosed to SaharaReporters on Tuesday morning.
Last June, the Nigerian government fumed at the deal, which it claimed was aimed at discrediting the country in the US and Europe.
PREMIUM TIMES got the details of both the old and new deals from the contractors’ registration statements and agreements filed at the Foreign Agents Registration Unit of the US Department of Justice.
The registration, mandatory under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 and for “public disclosure”, entails filing documents, including completed predesigned forms marked Exhibits A and B, and the agreements stipulating the full details of the contract.