Some documents said to have indicted the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, on drug dealings and money laundering in the United States have resurfaced with reports that they were released by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The trending documents revealed details about Tinubu’s alleged indictment in drug deals and receipt of illegal money while in the U.S.
The 56-page document released by the district court’s headquarters confirmed the long-held view that Tinubu faced conviction on narcotics charges in the US especially with the revelation that he forfeited up to $460,000 to the U.S. authorities in 1993, reports Peoples Gazette.
Tinubu has denied any wrongdoing and his spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, blamed the media for “recycling the news even when it’s nothing new.
Bayo said “it’s dead as dodo (roasted plantain) wondering why you journalists will continue to do the story.
“It resurfaced before the primary (presidential) and now again. It is nothing new. It’s dead. It’s as dead as a dodo,” he said.
However, the fresh allegation especially the release of the complete documents to the public may further put pressure on Tinubu, who was Lagos State Governor for eight years to come clean on his alleged narcotic dealings and indictment for money laundering.
Although he was never convicted as he did not re-enter the US, the certified copies of the court case, which were released on August 10, revealed Tinubu and two others simply named as K.O. Tinubu and Alhaji Mogati were involved in banking proceeds of illicit drugs and money laundering with Heritage Bank and Citibank, all in the US.
The personality of who Alhaji Mogati remains shrouded as no trace could easily be made to such a person close to Tinubu except that Tinubu’s foster mother was known as Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji.
Tinubu who was resident in the US when these offences were committed returned to Nigeria and made his way into the upper political class in Nigeria to emerge as Lagos State Governor in 1999 to 2007.
However, his refusal to return to the US when the court case was held reportedly led to huge forfeiture of $460,000 in the Citibank account in the US.
The US authority never applied to Nigeria for his extradition, THE WHISTLER findings showed.
However, this paper gathered that since his accomplices in the US entered into a plea bargain to avoid a long drawn court case, the former Lagos West Senator also enjoyed that privilege as all assets and money were seized on September 21, 1993.
An Abuja-based lawyer, Benson Agada, said that “Tinubu can still face charges in Nigeria and can still be disqualified if appropriate findings are made and the case is made in court by the Nigerian government but that’s difficult because it will be impossible politically.
“His party will be shooting itself in the leg to embark on such a venture except if the president is against him.
“But the evidence is clear that someone who was indicted like this, to have forfeited such a huge amount of money can stand trial.
“If he had remained in the US, he would have been convicted. And plea bargain is an evidence of guilt, an acceptance that you are guilty,” he said.