Fresh US court documents indicting Nigeria’s presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu on drug charges released
A US court has released fresh certified copies of a 1993 indictment of Alhaji Bola Tinubu a presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 2023 election on charges of heroin trafficking and money laundering. The Nigerian daily Peoples Gazette reported on Tuesday.
The latest certified copies from the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, obtained on August 10, showed Tinubu and two others named K.O. Tinubu and Alhaji Mogati were involved in banking proceeds of illicit drugs 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 foster mother, who passed on in 2013.
The US Government had in July 1993 sought forfeiture of proceeds of narcotics Tinubu was accused of laundering. The matter was resolved in a compromise between the Tinubus and the US authorities, with the Tinubus being asked to keep the money in the Heritage Bank account while the $460,000 in the Citibank account was forfeited. A federal judge subsequently dismissed the matter with prejudice on September 21, 1993, which effectively foreclosed the matter from being litigated again by all parties.
It remains to be seen if Nigerian law enforcement will open an investigation into the charges of drug trafficking and money laundering levelled against the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer or wether the National Intelligence Agency(NIA) or the State Security Service (SSS) will declare Tinubu to be compromised therefore unfit to be trusted with state secrets.
In a November 8 petition, Kalu Kalu Agu, an Abuja-based lawyer urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to probe Mr Tinubu’s involvement in the drug and money laundering charges before the presidential elections in February. The petition gave the government agencies seven days to launch action against Tinubu or be compelled through a judicial order of mandamus, a process that involves ordering a public department to perform a public duty.
“It is our view that you have a historic duty to ensure that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is called to account for his deeds in money laundering arising from his involvement in narcotics trafficking,” Kalu said from his think-tank the Centre for Reform & Public Accountability in Abuja.
Tinubu who is reportedly on a campaign tour is yet to comment on the fresh release of the 1993 indictment.
Source Peoples Gazzette