Jennifer Iwenjiora was an NTA News reporter in the 1980s.
She met Atiku Abubakar for the first time in 1982, but they later lost touch.
She relocated to the US in the late 1980s or early 1990s and she got married to a man named Douglas (for whom she had her son, Anthony Chuka Douglas). They later got divorced. She is a US citizen.
She became reacquainted with Atiku Abubakar in the late 1990s and they got married. She adopted the name Jamilah Atiku Abubakar.
She lived in Atiku Abubakar’s mansion in Potomac, Maryland. She also got her Ph.D. while she was in the US.
She was the subject of an investigation by the US Government regarding certain financial dealings, but she said that the funds belonged to her
husband and she didn’t know anything about it.
She relocated to Dubai, where her son got married yesterday.
She is also a lawyer and was called to Bar in Nigeria a few years ago.
More on Jamilah Atiku Abubakar‘s Biography By the Nations
JAMILAH Atiku Abubakar, the sophisticated and beautiful wife of the former vice president and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, is the President and CEO of GEDE Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Washington DC, has just been called to the bar. Her elated hubby took to the social media to celebrate her success. The mother of three who spends more time abroad is also a Ph.D holder from the American University in Washington. She co-runs American styled university Yola, ABTI, with her husband. After studying at the American University in Washington, the woman liked it so much that she and her
husband decided to set up one in Nigeria too.
Formerly known as Jennifer Iwenjiora in her days at the Nigerian Television Authority, the Onitsha-born pretty woman metamorphosed from being a simple TV reporter to one of the wives of a former Vice-President. She embraced Islam and changed her name to Jamilah after her marriage to Atiku.
Highly cerebral Jamilah boasts an intimidating academic profile. She holds a doctorate in International Relations, a Masters in International Politics with concentration in International Law and Communications and a first degree in Political Science and Communications.
US: Atiku Abubakar In $40 Million Money-Laundering Accusation With Wife, Jennifer - Sahara Reporters
A United States Senate report has accused Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former Vice-President, of laundering over $40 million in suspicious funds into the United States between 2000 and 2008. And his partner in the lucrative effort was Jennifer Douglas, his fourth wife. Ms. Douglas is sometimes known as Lady Jamilah Jennifer, or Douglas E, or Jennifer Iwenjora, the name by which she was known in the 1980s when she was a reporter with the Nigeria Television Authority in Lagos.
According to the report, which was written by the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, most of the funds were through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.
Of the $40 million identified in the US investigation, $25 million was reportedly wire-transferred by offshore corporations into more than 30 U.S. bank accounts opened by Ms. Douglas, primarily by Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., LetsGo Ltd. Inc., and Sima Holding Ltd.
“In a 2008 civil complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2 million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002, from Siemens AG, a major German corporation,” the report says. “While Ms. Douglas denies wrongdoing, Siemens has already pled (pleaded) guilty to U.S. criminal charges and settled civil charges related to bribery and told the Subcommittee that it sent the payments to one of her U.S. accounts.
The report also recalls the 2006/2007 corruption brouhaha in Nigeria between Abubakar and then President Olusegun Obasanjo over the Petroleum Technology Development Fund. At that time, both a government panel and an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission panel found Atiku guilty of diverting funds meant for the Fund's operations nationwide to various banks to promote his private interests. Obasanjo dismissed his own extensive gains from the account as pointed out by Abubakar as mere "gifts" over which he had no control.
The report goes on: “The U.S. banks maintaining those accounts were, at times, unaware of her PEP (Politically Exposed Person) status, and they allowed multiple, large offshore wire transfers into her accounts. As each bank began to question the offshore wire transfers, Ms. Douglas indicated that all of the funds came from her husband and professed little familiarity with the offshore corporations actually sending her money. When one bank closed her account due to the offshore wire transfers, her lawyer helped convince other banks to provide a new account.
”In addition, two of the offshore corporations wire transferred about $14 million over five years to American University in Washington, D.C., to pay for consulting services related to the development of a Nigerian university founded by Mr. Abubakar. American University accepted the wire transfers without asking about the identity of the offshore corporations or the source of their funds, because under current law, the University had no legal obligation to inquire.”
Read her interview with woman.NG
An Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, the founder of Gede Foundation and wife of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, for an extended interview on her philanthropic work with Gede Foundation.
WHAT’S PHILANTHROPY TO YOU? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE IT?
Philanthropy is helping the less privileged through a worthy cause by devoting time, resources or advocate for a good cause that would benefit the society. In general, contributing to a greater good for the benefit of human kind.
WHY DID YOU SET UP THE GEDE FOUNDATION?
Gede Foundation began in 2002 as one of the pioneer non-governmental organizations to cater to under-served and highly stigmatized populations. Part of our fundamental objective when we started was to provide a one-stop shop for high quality treatment and care in HIV/AIDS, training, advocacy and research.
In addition to serving those infected with HIV, I would like to add that one of Gede’s accomplishments is seeing that over 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria got back into schools, while others learnt marketable skills as a foundation to productive lives. Without Gede and our vision for orphans in the beginning, the likes of World Bank, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, USAID (SIDHAS), UNICEM and Addax Petroleum Foundation wouldn’t have been confident to invest huge amount into OVC programmes using Gede as grants recipient.
Today, Gede’s drive to be constantly at the cutting edge of under-served and highly stigmatized health burdens, has recently seen the Foundation embrace and address growing concerns over mental health and its general impact not only with people living with HIV/AIDS, but the general population at large.
WHAT DIFFERENCE WOULD YOU SAY THE FOUNDATION HAS MADE? WHAT HAVE ITS BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS BEEN, IN YOUR OPINION?
We often hear people say that Gede Foundation was a trailblazer in the area of HIV Treatment and Care delivery in the country for the past decade. To some extent I think we have set high quality standards to which clients always refer to, in terms of access to confidential and personalized HIV management. For me, this is something worth celebrating.
Gede’s Managing Director, John Minto has expressed that Gede exists to be a ‘game changing’ agency within under-served and stigmatized health burdens and all of our work is geared to achieving practical and positive change for those we serve at the community level. Over the decade during which the Foundation has been working in Nigeria, it has played a significant leadership role in putting two major stigmatized health burdens on the map.
In running Abuja’s first one-stop HIV-AIDS clinic, Gede revolutionized the approach to care and support by taking an holistic view of the needs of those suffering from HIV-AIDS, offering clients access to testing, counseling, medical and pharmacy services at a single site delivered through high quality and client-centered expertise. No other agency in 2003 approached care and support in this way and, now, it is the norm.
Gede is now playing the major leadership role in bringing to light the debilitating impact of depression and alcohol abuse on people living with HIV-AIDS. With an estimated 40% of all people living with HIV-AIDS also suffering from these little discussed yet widely experienced conditions, Gede is pioneering work which will show their prevalence and impact, stimulate and support mental health support groups at the community level and secure long term resource commitments from government to provide appropriate care and support.
Gede is proud of the fact that due to its leadership and advocacy work, government agencies and development organizations are starting to place mental health squarely within their HIV-AIDS care and support regimes. Prior to Gede’s intervention, these conditions were practically invisible, yet remained crippling in their impact.
We are also known for our research work.
Research has the aim of developing the Foundation’s role as a ‘learning’ organization and provides the material through which Gede amplifies the voice of those suffering from the impact of under-served and stigmatized health burdens.
TEN YEARS FROM NOW WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE FOUNDATION TO HAVE ACCOMPLISHED?
The list of under-served and stigmatized health burdens is lengthy – depression, alcohol abuse, obesity, teenage suicide, sexually transmitted infections and even domestic violence – the list goes on. However, they all suffer from the same problems – a lack of information about their prevalence and impact; no community based care and support networks; little government recognition of their importance, and consequently few resources allocated for stigma reduction, treatment and care; equally limited recognition by development donors and agencies that a problem even exists.
People suffering from stigmatized health burdens therefore feel a sense of stigmatization, isolation, despondency and loneliness – which often make their conditions worse. Ten years from now, I want tens of thousands of such people and their carers to have worked with Gede to find their voice and to convincingly advocate for changes which bring their under-served and stigmatized health burdens out of the shadows in ways which make real and practical changes to the care and support they receive at the community level.
I would like to quote Gede’s Director of Administration, Jeremy Bogolosa, that Gede Foundation is an advocate for the “underdogs” of social/health issues. We encourage the marginalized population directly affected by mental health disorders (or other stigmatized and under-served health burdens that we will identify in the future) to show that they care and influence the rest of the world to listen and find that reason why they should care. For it is only when people care that they act responsibly.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NIGERIANS LOOKING TO SET UP A PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATION?
You must strive to do it unconditionally and without prejudices, and keep in mind that it is not an arena to raise money for yourself, it is the business of ‘non-profit’.
Don’t see it as a personal promotional tool, but instead something for a good cause and betterment of the community.
Be clear on your goals & objectives
Set the agenda; do not allow others do it for you
Get the funding in place
Promote transparency and accountability
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN PHILANTHROPY – IN NIGERIA AND ABROAD?
Angelina Jolie is quite an inspiration, in addition to Bill and Melinda Gates.
In Nigeria, my husband, Atiku Abubakar on his part, is a true unheralded philanthropist. He supports so many causes quietly and has done much that is not publicized
All those silent workers who work diligently to better the lives of their community even donating from their own pocket to those less fortunate. I can name the staff of Gede, Dr. Cynthia Ticao and John Minto who leave their families in United States and United kingdom to serve in Nigeria for 6 to 8 months in the year, Godwin Etim and Jeremy Boglosa who are personally sponsoring orphans in school, and many of the other unsung heroes whom we work with on a daily basis who have answered the call to serve, they are my role models. They give us the strength through their exemplary devotion to the less fortunate to continue our work even in the face of daunting challenges.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND INITIATIVES IN NIGERIA?
Little or no funding for good programs
Funding going mostly to bigger organizations
Unrealistic expectations on the part of funders and donors
Lack of concrete planning and goal-setting
Lack of coordination
Lack of institutional transparency and accountability
Absence of a proper regulatory framework
The misconception that philanthropy is only for affluent individuals
Absence of a strong tradition of structured philanthropy
HOW CAN PRIVATE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER IN NIGERIA?
We should act as role models for others by promoting transparency
We should form umbrella and watchdog organizations to hold one another to account
We should learn to develop linkages with other organizations when applying for funding and in program implementation and campaigns
We should seek to involve civil society and grassroots organizations in programming.
IF YOU HAD TO FOCUS ON ANOTHER FIELD OF PHILANTHROPY OUTSIDE OF WHAT GEDE IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH (MENTAL HEALTH), WHAT WOULD IT BE?
There are so many other causes I’d like to be involved in, especially because I am internationalist in outlook, and would like to bring several causes onto the world stage, just like Angelina Jolie is spotlighting important issues across the globe. But if I had to choose just one cause outside of mental health, it’d be to promote the importance of education in the development of the individual.