Tinubu’s dark past threatens lifelong presidential ambition as report establishes links to drug trade

Tinubu’s dark past threatens lifelong presidential ambition as report establishes links to drug trade

By his own admission, being president of Nigeria is a lifelong goal he hopes to achieve. On June 8, at the Eagle Square in Abuja, he took a giant s

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By his own admission, being president of Nigeria is a lifelong goal he hopes to achieve.

On June 8, at the Eagle Square in Abuja, he took a giant step towards actualizing his dream by winning the ruling All Progressive Congress’ presidential ticket. But that ambition is now threatened by his shady past which continues to haunt him.

A search for information on Bola Tinubu, the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, on several open-source websites and LexisNexis databases will yield copious details of previous associations with sundry crimes while in the United States of America in the 1990s. From

This is in addition to the unending questions about his academic record, with a civil rights group-Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy- now in court to compel the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, to prosecute the former Lagos State governor for alleged perjury.

Many Nigerians who have questioned his past may have dug into his history and found scary skeletons and carcasses that he could not bury, and that has defined his politics.

While you will not find him on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Alert List or the Interpol Most Wanted List, you will find damning information about his alleged link to narcotics trade and how he laundered alleged drug money by buying and selling properties in the US using different signatures to hide his identity.

A report first published in 2015 by thedailybeast.com claimed Bola Tinubu was a clear accomplice in a drug and money laundering case involving two Nigerians– Adegboyega Mueez Akanda and his nephew, Abiodun Agbele. A United States Government Narcotics Attaché in its embassy in Nigeria, Andre W. Kellum, claimed in an Affidavit dated 1992 that the two Nigerians were part of an organization that distributed cocaine, which was operated by Tinubu.

But while Tinubu escaped arrest and prosecution by effectively masking his role in a drug cartel, evidence of funds lodgments in his bank accounts allegedly established him as a kingpin of the narcotics trade.

Tinubu’s flanks were exposed when Special US agents investigating the case traced illicit funds to bank accounts operated by him. The US Government alleged that bank accounts held by Tinubu represented the “proceeds of narcotics trafficking” and money laundering.

In December 1989 Akande allegedly opened an “individual money account” for Tinubu at a First Heritage Bank with his residential address stated as 7504 South Stewart Avenue, Chicago.

Investigators found the address to be “ the drop-off point for packages from Nigeria that contained the white heroin.” In another credit application dated January 6, 1990, seen by the Special Agent, Tinubu stated that Akande was his cousin.

Curiously, at the time Akande and Agbele were being investigated, Tinubu was an employee of Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, of Fairfax, Virginia and was on a monthly salary of $2,400. But despite only earning $2,400 a month with no other income, bank records obtained by investigators from First Heritage Bank disclosed that in 1990 alone, Tinubu deposited $661,000 into his individual money market account and in 1993; he deposited the sum of $1,216,500 into the same money market account.

By 1992, US investigators had concluded that Tinubu was part of the international drug trade on account of the volume of funds found in his accounts which he could not satisfactorily explain. On January 10, 1992, Federal agents obtained the court order to freeze some of his bank accounts.

An amount exceeding $1.4 million dollars was seized from his account, a move he fought in court after claiming he made the money legitimately. Tinubu had also denied to investigators that he had any additional bank accounts in the US. But other accounts operated by him were found to contain huge sums.

An account hidden at Citibank under the name of “Compass Finance and Investment Company” were found to be operated by Tinubu in partnership with Akande and Agbele. A seizure warrant was issued on January 24, 1992, on Tinubu’s Citibank account, and the sum of $600,000 was seized.

Tinubu obviously sensing that the game was up, agreed to forfeit the funds to the US Government. A document on the forfeiture signed at a US District Court, Northern District of IIIinious on 07/26/1993 said “the funds in the amount of $460,000 in account in the name of Bola Tinubu represents proceeds of narcotics or were involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 USC ss 1956 and 1957 and therefore these funds are forfeited to the United States.”

Tinubu had further given himself away during the investigation of his role in the distribution of narcotics in the US by suspicious money transfers for property purchases. A case mentioned was the purchase of 10111 Limestone Court, Potomac, Maryland 20854 on February 21, 1992, for $450,000. It was an obvious attempt to launder the drug money and divert investigators’ attention away from him.

But how was a man who claimed to earn $2, 800 a month able to purchase a house worth $450,000?

If the above claims were not enough to establish a criminal past, his constant change of signature on legal documents also gave him away as an intelligent crook. His US investigators found that his signature on the deed for the purchase of the Potomac, Maryland house in 1992 was different from that of the property on 12625 Hillmeade Station Drive, Prince Georges, Maryland 20720, purchased on January 18, 1995 for $147,000.

Another property at 1708 Parkside Drive, Mitchellville, Maryland 20720, purchased by Tinubu in May 1997 for $491,465 bore a different signature from the others. Tinubu gave investigators the impression that he was a criminal running from the law. He was at the time, and probably now, like a man trying hard to erase his footprints.

APC leaders must now be wondering if they had backed the wrong horse.

Tinubu knows the past and wants it buried forever. He has worked too hard to push himself to his present political pedestal and wants the past to remain dead. When asked to comment on Tinubu’s dark past, Bayo Onanuga, spokesman for his presidential campaign, could not hide his anger and disgust.

After several calls and text messages, he finally called back and railed at the reporter. “You’re a journalist, right? You people just like digging up a dead matter. The case happened 30 years ago. It’s a dead matter, finished.”

But apparently for Nigerians, he seeks to rule, the issues are neither dead nor finished.