The All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party in Nigeria, has acknowledged that its candidate and ‘President-elect,’ Bola Tinubu, forfeited the sum of $460,000 to the United States government in 1993 due to a drug trafficking allegation. This information was disclosed in a court document filed by the APC in response to a petition filed by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, who is seeking to annul Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election.
It was exclusively reported that Tinubu was involved in a white heroin trafficking network operating in Chicago and parts of Indiana, led by one Adegboyega Mueez Akande between 1988 and 1993. The source of the white heroin was identified as Mr. Lee Andrew Edwards, who was incarcerated for attempting to murder a federal agent during a search warrant execution.
According to the Verified Complaint for forfeiture in case No. 93 C 4483, exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters in 2008, which was filed on July 26, 1993, before the Hon. Judge Nordberg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Government requested the Court to order the forfeiture of funds in various bank accounts held by Tinubu and his associates, including accounts with First Heritage Bank and Citibank N.A.
The government alleged that the funds represented proceeds of narcotics trafficking or were involved in financial transactions in violation of U.S. laws and were therefore forfeitable to the U.S. Government.
In his defense, Tinubu averred in Court that the funds belonged to himself, his wife, K.O. Tinubu, and his surrogate mother, Alhaja Mogaji (now deceased), and that they had exclusive right, title, and interest to the funds.
Based on this drug trafficking case, Obi cited one of the grounds for overturning Tinubu’s victory and argued that Tinubu’s forfeiture of funds to the US government shows his involvement in infractions that should disqualify him from running for office in Nigeria.
However, in court documents filed to defend its candidate, the APC claimed that Tinubu simply surrendered funds in ten bank accounts opened in his and Compass Finance and Investment Co.’s name. The party informed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that the funds in the two commercial banks’ accounts were subject to a “civil forfeiture proceeding” in Case No: 93C4483.
The APC further argued that Tinubu’s forfeiture to the US government, which occurred 29 years ago, was no longer a valid basis for challenging his eligibility to run in the presidential election. The party pointed out that the matter had been investigated before, and no further action was taken.
APC also highlighted that the Nigeria Police Force had conducted an extensive investigation into Tinubu’s criminal records, and the American Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria confirmed that there was no record of any criminal arrest, warrants, or convictions regarding Tinubu. The party cited a letter issued by the Embassy of the United States of America, Nigeria, dated February 4, 2003, in support of this claim.