ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has released new documents regarding Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s meeting with US authorities over allegations of drug trafficking and money laundering.
Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress party and former governor of Lagos, was the subject of intense public ridicule and political assault for his role in a drug trafficking case in early 1990s Chicago. .
He did not comment on the narcotics case, which has been in the news since at least the mid-2000s, preferring instead to discuss other aspects of his background in corporate accounting, consulting and activism. pro-democracy. However, he informed the INEC electoral office in his candidacy for the election that he had no previous criminal convictions.
Tinubu’s allies have also made efforts to downplay the issue as a trivial distraction from Nigeria’s democratic experiment, as it happened decades ago in a distant tongue.
But Nigerians have insisted that the presidential candidate confess his involvement in the case, which saw him confiscate up to $460,000 from US authorities in 1993.
The 56-page document released by the Chicago District Court Headquarters did not include crucial new details, but it did confirm snippets of the case that had been shared spontaneously by the media for years. Journalist David Hundeyin has also revived interest in Tinubu’s drug trafficking history following a July 13 article in West Africa Weekly.
The latest certified copies of the court case, obtained on August 10, showed that Mr. Tinubu and two others named KO Tinubu and Alhaji Mogati were involved in illicit drug banking proceeds and money laundering with Heritage Bank and Citibank. It was not immediately clear whether or not “Alhaji Mogati” was a misspelling of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, Mr Tinubu’s adoptive mother, who died in 2013.
The US government had in July 1993 requested the confiscation of the narcotics proceeds that Tinubu was accused of laundering. The case was resolved in a compromise between the Tinubus and US authorities, with the Tinubus being told to keep the money in the Heritage Bank account while the $460,000 in the Citibank account was confiscated.
A federal judge later dismissed the case with prejudice on September 21, 1993, effectively preventing the case from being litigated again by all parties. However, it was unclear whether Nigerian authorities could still bring charges against Mr. Tinubu for the same matter in Nigerian courts.
Kalu Kalu Agu, an Abuja-based lawyer with links to opposition politics, is among those seeking to hold Tinubu to account over the case. He asked the EFCC and NDLEA, Nigeria’s anti-corruption and anti-narcotics departments, respectively, to investigate Mr Tinubu’s involvement in the drug charges ahead of the presidential elections in February.
In the November 8 petition, Mr. Kalu Agu gave the two offices seven days to bring an action against Mr. Tinubu or be compelled by a court order of mandamus, a process of ordering a public service to perform a public task.
“We believe you have a historic duty to ensure that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is held to account for his acts of money laundering resulting from his involvement in drug trafficking,” Mr. Kalu said of his think tank Center for Reform & Public Accountability. in Abuja.
Tinubu, who has been campaigning across the country, did not return a request seeking comment on the released court documents and Mr. Kalu’s petition to federal authorities. A spokesperson for his campaign also declined to comment. [Peoples Gazette]