Friday, December 2, 2022

Tinubu mistakenly shared flats with drug lords in Chicago: Festus Keyamo

The campaign spokesman said the candidate incidentally shared an address with notorious cocaine dealers in the 1990s.

• November 10, 2022
Bola Tinubu [Credit: BAT]
Bola Ahmed Tinubu [Credit: BAT]

Festus Keyamo, chief spokesman for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, has said Bola Tinubu, the party’s flag bearer, only shared a “block of flats” with notorious cocaine dealers in Chicago, pushing back after the release of court documents that suggested Mr Tinubu’s ties to illicit drug business and money laundering in the United States. 

“What happened was that Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) went to open an account. The address which he used in opening the account was the address used by these people…(sic). I think some blocks of flats. Maybe, he happened to be in that block of flats too.

“So, they now link it that the other people they were investigating for narcotics are in the same address used by Asiwaju to open that account,” Mr Keyamo said on Wednesday on Channels Television programme to exonerate the former Lagos governor from the fresh controversies that had been trailing his involvement in drug peddling. 

Peoples Gazette on Tuesday published certified copies of the 1993 case as recently released by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The documents confirmed that the U.S. government had in July 1993 sought forfeiture of proceeds of narcotics Mr Tinubu was accused of laundering. The matter was resolved in a compromise between the Tinubus and the U.S. 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, however, remained unclear whether or not Nigerian authorities could still bring charges against Mr Tinubu over the same case in Nigerian courts.

The former Lagos governor has come under intense public scrutiny over his opaque past, health status and allegations of corruption.  He has not personally commented on the latest case, but his campaign surrogates have emphasised that the matter was insignificant and would not be a factor in the upcoming elections. 

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