A luxury mansion co-owned by a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas, in the posh neighbourhood of Potomac, Maryland, United States, has been auctioned.
The property gained international notoriety in 2005 after it was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in connection with a bribery scandal involving disgraced former U.S. Congressman, William Jefferson. The seven-bedroom cream-coloured single family brick house on 9731 Sorrel Ave, Potomac, Maryland, was originally listed for $3.25 million on Zillow and other online real estate websites on January 25, 2018 but was eventually sold for a pending offer of $2.95 million on February 26, 2018 after an online auction. A pending offer means a buyer and seller of the property have reached a deal. However, a buyer can still pull out from the deal (which is very unlikely) if they cannot resolve issues like cost of repair or they cannot get a bank to approve a loan for the purchase of the property. Mr. Abubakar and Ms. Douglas bought the 7,131 square feet house in December 1999 for $1.75 million. Built in 1988, the house was described on Zillow as one of the finest in the tony neighbourhood of Falconhurst, Potomac, where houses are valued between $2 million and $10 million. The Atikus’ mansion is a colonial-style building that sits in the middle of 2.3 acres premises of lush green trees. The mansion has a total of 21 rooms, multiple terraces which are said to be ideal for outdoor parties, a pool sauna, a gazebo, a gourmet kitchen and an outdoor swimming pool. Sources with knowledge of the state of the mansion but who requested not to be named because they did not want to be publicly associated with this story, said the Atikus had not lived in the mansion since Mr. Abubakar left office as vice president in 2007. One source told PREMIUM TIMES that after 2007, house service staff lived in the mansion for some years, but the place was later locked up, and had remained unoccupied. Tax records from the Montgomery County, Washington DC show that Ms. Douglas consistently paid property taxes on the mansion from 1999 to 2016. She, however, is in default of $27,913.77 being that for 2017. The house was not in foreclosure as it was paid for completely by the Atikus and available records showed that no bank loan was involved in its purchase.