A video has surfaced in the internet (first seen on SaharaReporters) which exposes details of a sequence of corrupt deals perpetuated by the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation via its CEO, Ms. Anne Welsh.
Many persons may wonder and may not be conversant with the name “Anne Welsh” so I will do a brief introduction.
Anne Welsh is a former investment banker, who began her Investment Banking career with Lehman Brothers in 2004. She established herself as a Senior Associate in Sales and Marketing team as part of the Asset Management Division supporting the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Emerging African Markets. She has a BSc. Honours in Accounting and Finance from Hertfordshire University and a MSc. in Investment Management from Cass Business School UK. She is certified by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. She was also the Chairperson of Sickle Cell Society, where she served for three years before moving to become the Vice Chairperson and CEO of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, a UK-based charity that operates in the advancement of human security for the most disadvantaged in Africa. She works with former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo who is also the Chairman & Founder, board members, staff and volunteers to set the agenda and influence global initiatives on behalf of the Foundation.
According to her, she met the former president during a conference in Brussels in 2011 when she was with the Sickle Cell Society. At the event, he wooed her over to do some work with Africa. While two-time Nigeria leader Olusegun Obasanjo has often appeared to many Nigerians to be insincere about combating corruption in the country, proof of his corrupt activities has been hard to find.
In the video, discreetly recorded by one of the participants in the meeting in the United Kingdom in December 2014, which features Anne Welsh, the CEO of the Obasanjo Foundation in London, she is involved in a $4.9 million scheme to exploit the Ebola Virus Disease tragedy in West Africa through helping a group of “Lebanese businessmen” who wished to donate money to the Foundation for some work in Sierra Leone. and suggests she has operated a well-oiled money-laundering scheme for many years.
The group explains it would make the donation on one condition: the Obasanjo Foundation would get $2m, as long as it helps launder the balance of $2.9m. But Ms. Welsh assures the potential contributors, theat there is no problem, explaining that she was well-grounded in the art of money laundering under the tutelage of Obasanjo.
“I had to go through training, through President Obasanjo, political training for one year to become discreet. Sometimes we get dollars from people who give money to our foundation and they say they don’t want it to be known that they donated the money but they want to have a letter on like our letter-headed paper and a letter from Obasanjo stating just to say ‘Thank you for your kind donations to the foundation for the work to support Ebola.’ That’s it. That is what we normally do,” she says.
As the discussion proceeds, one of the persons she is discussing with tells her they do not really care how the money given to the foundation is spent, as long as their interest is protected. They move on to discuss her own ‘cut’ from the $2.9.
“At least 30%, think about the hard work I’m going to put into this, you will be so grateful to me,” she proposes.
The agreement is reached. Ms. Welsh would get the 30%, ($900,000) in exchange for writing a letter, thanking the Lebanese community for its donation towards fighting Ebola.
How is the transfer of the money to be done? Ms. Welsh explains that she basically uses GTBank in Nigeria because it is easy to manipulate the banks in Nigeria while in the United Kingdom she cannot transfer the dubious funds to anyone.
“You have to send it to the account in Nigeria, GT Bank, because if it comes to this account here, I can’t transfer it to anyone, if it comes to a charity account in the UK I can’t transfer it out. I can also pay you from a UK account. Immediately it hits my account it gets to you. And I need the account details you want me to transfer it to. Is it a Geneva account?”
Asked by one of them whether she has handled this kind of business before, Ms. Welsh confirms she has done it more than once.
“I’ve done this before, I have even done it from the Nigerian end and London end. I just want to make sure that whoever’s account I send it to is able to receive bulk transfers…that’s why I’m in Nigeria on the 26th so that I can seat at the bank while I do the transfer back to your account, it’s a good coincidence because in Nigeria I don’t trust the bank I will rather be there. You are not the first and you will not be the last,” she assures the man.
She goes ahead to mention the Ghanaian President, John Mahama and the Nigerian incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan as having worked with them at some point.
“My life started out slow and it picked up, and I’m going to pray to God it stays high. Just look at it, I just met you guys. I’m a firm believer that the people that are good around me will always be around me. One question I get, ‘How do you work with President Obasanjo?’ Because if you read about him you will see that he fought the war in Nigeria, he’s the guy all other leaders call up on for help, him and I are always travelling. Last time we were in Ghana and this guy (Mahama) had a problem and we had to help get money from Goodluck (Jonathan) because he (Obasanjo) did not have enough money. We did so much secret things. Then Obasanjo said to me that the reason he’s doing all these things in front of me and with me is because he trusts me.”
This means that at a certain time, President John Mahama was in dire need of money and Obasanjo somehow obtained it for him from President Goodluck Jonathan, because he did not have the money himself. Very funny, isn’t it? Now, it is unclear at what time that event took place. We just assume it happened before the public tension between Obasanjo and Jonathan started in 2013.
When contacted on the phone, Ms. Welsh confirmed details of the meeting, stating that she was indeed present, but denied that any wrongdoing took place.
See video below: