September 18, 2016

Eko Hotels CEO In Terrorism Saga: Sues FBI and US Justice Dept Over Visa Ban

Businessman and owner of Eko Hotels in Lagos, Gilbert Chagoury, has filed a legal action against the US government and its agencies for Privacy Act Violations.

The case filed on Friday is the first to be made under the Judicial Redress Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in February this year.

The Los Angeles Times had reported that Gilbert, who was born in Nigeria and has dual citizenship, was barred from entering US and his visa request denied based on "links with a terrorist group".

Gilbert, is a big donor to the Clinton Foundation and has a home in Beverly Hills, California, but was denied visa on grounds that he gave financial support to a Lebanese politician, Michael Aoun.

According to report, Michael Aoun’s party is in political coalition with Hezbollah, tagged a deadly terrorist organisation by the US.

Hezbollah terror tag stemmed from the double bombings in 1983, killing 63 at the U.S. embassy in Beirut and 241 at a Marine barracks later that year.

In 2013 an FBI intelligence report claimed Gilbert sent funds to Aoun, who, in turn, gave the money to Hezbollah. The report said the information was unverified from a source, who also said the Lebanese Christian politician was ‘facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah.’

In the filing before the court in the District of Columbia, Gilbert contends that the information is wrong and that he was injured by the US agencies which leaked it to the media.

According to a report by PR Newswire, Gilbert contends that the US agencies have caused great damage to his reputation and property, and denied his Constitutional right to due process.

The defendants in the case are the FBI, the Department of Justice, the National Counter Terrorism Center, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and US Customs and Border Protection.

In the filing by his lawyers, Gilbert is said to have an exceptional record of public service and demonstrated commitment to core American values such as religious freedom.