Gilbert Chagoury, billionaire businessman and owner of Eko Hotels in Lagos Nigeria has filed a legal action against the US government and its agencies over being denied entry to the country.
Chagoury, who is a donor to the Clinton Foundation said his reputation was damaged by the disclosure alleging he may have facilitated fundraising for Hezbollah, the terrorist organization.
Gilbert Chagoury — a friend of Bill Clinton, an ambassador to the Vatican and owner of a hilltop mansion in Beverly Hills — said he wanted an opportunity to correct what he said was false information. He said it damaged his reputation and prompted a bank in California to close his accounts.
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 Chagoury sent funds to a Lebanese politician, Michael 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.’
Chagoury’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, names agencies with access to classified information in databases the government uses to track known or suspected terrorists: the FBI, the Justice Department, the National Counterterrorism Center, the State Department, CIA, Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.
“All of my life, from when I was a boy in Nigeria, I have loved America because it was the land of freedom and justice,” Mr. Chagoury said.
“I started coming to the United States over 35 years ago and have done everything I can to help America over my long career. I have close family members who are US citizens. To be falsely linked to terrorism and then have my reputation smeared in the media is an injustice that I could not allow to go unanswered.
“I have always been told that American justice demands due process, yet I was given no explanation for having my visa revoked and no opportunity to rebut these falsehoods before my reputation was dragged through the mud. That is not the America I know and love. I only want to clear my name.”