A World Press conference by the Directorate of Strategic Communications, ATIKU ABUBAKAR PCC
Dear Nigerians, we are currently at a crossroads and the wrong decision could spell doom for this great nation forever. Nigeria is battling many problems at the moment. We have banditry and terrorism ravaging many towns in the north, militants attacking oil facilities and bringing the country’s economy to its knees in the Niger Delta while secessionists are holding the southeast to ransom. It will be a huge disaster to add state sponsored drug trafficking into the mix.
It is no longer news that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has direct ties to drug lords and was used as a conduit pipe to launder their funds.
Court records show that Nigerian drug kingpin, Adegboyega Muiz Akande, ran an elaborate network of heroin traffickers in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1980s.
“This investigation has revealed the identity of other individuals including relatives who have worked for Akande with various duties in the distribution organisation. One of these individuals has been identified by the investigation as Bola Tinubu,” said Kevin Moss, a special agent with the Inland Revenue Service.
Court records showed that Akande took Tinubu to First Heritage Bank where he opened an account for himself and his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in 1989. Tinubu revealed in documents that he worked with Mobil Nigeria Limited and his salary was $2,400 and he had no other sources of income whatsoever.
But records from his First Heritage Bank account showed that in 1990, Tinubu deposited $661,000 into his individual money market account and in 1991 deposited $1,216,500 into the same money market account. Mobil representatives told US authorities that even though Tinubu was a treasurer, he had no direct access to the company’s cash and thus could not deposit funds on behalf of the firm.
Tinubu, the political Maradona, quickly entered into an agreement with US authorities and forfeited $460,000 in order to avoid jail before running back to Nigeria. But this has not changed the fact that he was in cahoots with drug dealers and was their bagman.
Nigerian law is clear. Criminal cases have no statute of limitation and can be re-opened at anytime especially for the sake of national interest. We hereby call on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to immediately arrest Bola Ahmed Tinubu and prosecute him for drug trafficking.
Apart from the criminal angle to this call, there is also the national security aspect. The world will recall what happened to Panama when Manuel Noriega, a known drug lord, became President in 1983. During his six-year rule, Panama became a narcos state as Noriega became an ally of the notorious Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel.
In the unfortunate event of a Bola Tinubu Presidency, Nigerians will be plunged into a drug crisis that would make the Colombia situation a child’s play. With easy access to drugs, there will be an increase in violence. Nigerians cannot risk this.
In fact, on March 20, 2021, the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) said the South-West had the highest drug abuse cases in the country at 22.4%. On October 28, 2021, the Principal Staff Officer in charge of Treatment and Rehabilitation, NDLEA, Oyo State Command, Titilope Asiru, said in Ibadan at a drug-free symposium organised for secondary school students that Lagos State had the highest drug use prevalence in the southwest and by extension, Nigeria which is 33%. Curiously, this is the state that has been ruled by a man with alleged drug ties since 1999. Nigerians are free to make up their minds.
Tinubu has also continued to brag about how he transformed the finances of Lagos State but this story is not completely accurate. As seen in court affidavits sworn to by Dapo Apara, a former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Tinubu has continued to corner the finances of the state through this firm.
In the writ of summons marked LD/7330GCMW/2020, Apara narrated how Alpha Beta was formed in 2002 when Tinubu was still the governor, in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. Apara noted that he was the one who came up with the idea of a consulting firm helping the state government to collect taxes.
He said Tinubu accepted the proposal but gave many conditions including that his own people would own 70 per cent stakes in the company. Apara said Tinubu nominated Adegboyega Oyetola (later governor of Osun State) and one Olumide Ogunmola who would hold 70% of the shares of Alpha Beta
Apara stated that Tinubu as a sitting governor in 2002,controlled Alpha Beta which was receiving 10 per cent of tax collected on behalf of the state.
The claimant stated that in 2010 or thereabout, Tinubu directed that the incorporation structure of the Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd be changed from a limited liability company to a limited liability partnership under a newly promulgated law in Lagos State. He said the aim of the move was to shield Tinubu’s involvement from public scrutiny.
Apara said as the head of the company, he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of billions of naira including a payment of N1bn to Vintage Press, publishers of The Nation newspaper.
The former Alpha Beta boss said he realised that all the payments were sanctioned by the partners nominated by Tinubu and they were done without his knowledge contrary to the terms of their partnership.
He stated, “The claimant avers that some of the suspicious transfers to third parties amongst many others unknown to the claimant are as follows: a) N500,000,000 payment to SW8 Investment Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 30/12/13; (b) $2,989,063.33 payment to Summit Integrated Services Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/1.5.
“(c) $1,407,000 USD payment to Summit Integrated Services Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/15; (d) N25million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/15; (e)N39million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 3/3/15; (I) N38million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 6/3/15.
“(g) N550million payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 15/5/18 (h) N850million payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 14/3/15; (i) N1 billion in Afkar printing Press together with Vintage Press Limited and Lagoon Press Limited in October 2017; (J) N1 billion Ocean and Oil Investment Limited (OANDO) various times; (k) N3.5 billion in OCEANIC BANK avow ECOBANK) various times; (I) N100 million IBILE HOLDINGS LAND Plot 16/17 BLOCK VI (ONIRU ESTATE) (m) N500 million STARCOMMS (Aranda Resources) 100,000,000 SHARES (n) N1.4 billion Sterling Asset Management (o) N960 million HITV 300,000,000 shares (p) N11.9 billion SW8 (WEMA BANK)30,909,090 shares.”
A subsequent investigation by The PUNCH later revealed that some of the aforementioned companies, including Ocean Trust Limited, which received N850 million on a single day from the account of Alpha Beta, was nothing but a shell company, a special purpose vehicle. Incidentally, Ocean Trust, which is now technically defunct, is located at 684 Idowu Taylor Street which is the same address of Freedom House, Tinubu’s organisation.
Another company, Summit Integrated Services Limited, which received $2,989,063.33 on 18/3/2015 and $1,407,000 on 18/3/15 from Alpha Beta on the order of Tinubu, is a UK registered “engineering services” company whose directors all live in Colombia.
“Summit Integrated Services” is a briefcase company created through a company creation service called Quality Company Formations (QCF Secretaries Limited).
It is owned by one Eparquio Jose Gonzalez Oliveros and his children, all based in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. Barranquilla in north-western Colombia is a hub for global drug trade. Due to the rise of drug cartels in the 80s and 90s and its maritime proximity to the US and Central America, its port is a major cocaine export hub.
More importantly, why did Alpha Beta Consultants, a business owned by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a known drug trafficker, transfer $4,396, 063.33 to this briefcase entity owned by an unknown Colombian “entrepreneur” based in Barranquilla, a major global cocaine export hub on 18/03/2015?
These are the questions that need to be asked.
Interestingly, ahead of the Presidential election, Tinubu hurriedly reached a secret financial settlement with Dapo Apara before a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere which involved Apara dropping the case, a development very similar to his drug settlement with US authorities. But this must not deter the NDLEA and the EFCC from investigating and prosecuting since drug trafficking is a crime against the state.
Tinubu’s inexplicable wealth is not new. In an interview with The News Magazine some 10 years ago, he said he returned to Nigeria after the June 12 struggle with nothing.
“They dispossessed me of the house, as well as my office on Saka Tinubu Street. My vehicles and everything else I owned. They claimed they found bombs in it and dispossessed me of it. I was totally cleaned out. I had only five shirts, £2000 pounds and jackets”, he recalled.
Today, Tinubu claims to be richer than Osun State. In a viral video which is still available online, Tinubu paid a visit to the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, where he boasted that he was richer than Osun State.
He told a gathering ahead of the rigged 2018 election in Osun State that “Osun does not have my kind of money”. His aides immediately issued a statement, saying he was quoted out of context.
However, on February 14, 2019, Tinubu again said it publicly while addressing party faithful that he is richer than Osun State, “How much is your money that I’ll embezzle? You can’t match my pocket. I told them so, and their traditional rulers were seated.”
On the eve of the Presidential elections in Lagos, two cash laden bullion vans were seen on his premises located at 26 Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi which was ostensibly for vote buying.
When journalists asked him about the bullion vans, Tinubu again responded by saying that it was his money and he was free to spend it whichever way he liked. “Even if I have money to spend in my premises, what is your headache?” he said.
A group of forthright activists including Ariyo Dare-Atoye and Deji Adeyanju, wrote a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on October 25, 2019, calling for the investigation and prosecution of Tinubu for breaching the Money Laundering Act after publicly admitting to sharing millions of naira on the eve of elections.
In fairness to the EFCC, its current Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, while he was the Head of the Lagos office of the EFCC, wrote a letter to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). In the letter marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, dated November 6, 2020 Bawa requested for Tinubu’s asset declaration forms. However, The Guardian newspaper reported that the CCB said it had misplaced the forms. Since Tinubu emerged as the Presidential candidate of the APC, the EFCC has kept mum on the issue while Ariyo who wrote the petition has unfortunately died. We hereby call on the EFCC to provide an update on this matter.
Besides, Tinubu had in 2011 been charged before the same Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations that he illegally operated 10 foreign accounts during his term in office as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007 but was discharged based on a technicality
Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal admitted on March 24, 2016 in the case of FRN vs Bukola Saraki that he discharged Tinubu in error.
“On the discharge of the former Lagos State governor by the tribunal some years ago simply because the CCB failed to fulfil the condition precedent, we have since realised that we acted in error in discharging Mr. Tinubu on that ground and we have since departed from that error,” Umar said. It is therefore important for both the CCB and the EFCC to revisit the case since Tinubu was never acquitted.
Apart from his links to drug lords, Tinubu has also cornered the finances of Lagos State through several means including land grabbing. The current land where his television station, TVC, is located on Aladelola Street, Ikosi, Ketu, was owned by the Lagos State Polytechnic until the students were forcefully ejected and relocated to Ikorodu.
His current home in Asokoro, Abuja was owned by the Lagos State Government. On the eve of his departure as governor, Tinubu signed an obnoxious law that would ensure that he and his family would continue to feed fat on the finances of the state. The law known as the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law No 11 official Gazette of Lagos State, 2007 says that a former governor will be given a house in Abuja and Lagos and six brand new cars every three years, 100 per cent of the basic salary of the serving governor, (N7.7m per annum) free health care for himself and members of his family.
The law also says a former governor will be entitled to furniture allowance, which is 300 per cent of their annual basic salary (N23.3m); house maintenance allowance, which is 10 per cent of basic salary (N778, 296); utility allowance, which is 20 per cent of the salary (N1.5m) and car maintenance allowance, which is 30 per cent of the annual basic salary (N2.3m).
Other benefits include entertainment allowance, which is 10 per cent of the basic salary (N778,296) and a personal assistant, who will earn 25 per cent of the governor’s annual basic salary (N1.9m).
Ahead of his Presidential campaign, Tinubu asked his Man Friday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to repeal the law in order to endear him towards Nigerians. But this has yet to come into effect.
Tinubu has continued to brag about how he addressed the ecological problem at the Lagos Bar Beach into an avenue of prosperity through the Eko Atlantic City. But it has since been revealed that he owns a sizeable amount of property at the Eko Atlantic City.
As published by a report in The PUNCH newspaper on November 1, 2020, a Prince in Oniru, Hakeem Ajasa, who is a member of the Abisogun ruling house, said in a pre-litigation letter to Tinubu and Sanwo-Olu that that Tinubu’s former ADC, Omogbolahan Lawal, was made the Oniru of Iruland in order to protect his business interests.
In a letter dated October 27, 2020, Ajasa claimed he had been selected as the next Oniru but Tinubu called him to a meeting and informed him that he would have to give up his ambition because his business partners were not happy with his emergence.
“Chief Tinubu called our client for a meeting and informed him that his business partners with whom he had his personal project of Eko Atlantic City, had complained to him about our client that he is a meticulous person who would not compromised on merit and would scrutinise and expose certain dealings along Iru axis that they would prefer to remain a secret,” the letter read.
Tinubu’s multi-billion naira property on Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi, is among the most valuable properties in the country today. He probably wants to rule from there and relocate Aso Rock to Lagos if he wins.
Super wealthy children
As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Tinubu’s daughter, Folashade Ojo, imposes levies on traders in Lagos State against extant laws and provisions.
At the Computer Village in Lagos, the traders stated that it was the levies being imposed on them that was contributing to the high cost of computers, telephones and electronics. Frustrated by the development, the traders eventually approached a Lagos State High Court for help.
In her judgment, Justice Yetunde Pinheiro barred Folashade and others from imposing levies on traders at the Computer Village, Lagos.
Interestingly, agents of Folahsade, who is also the Iyaloja-General of Lagos State, have headed for the Court of Appeal to upturn this judgment so that they can continue to exploit innocent traders.
Tinubu’s son, Seyi, owns Loatsad Promomedia, the young firm that owns most of the outdoor advertising on the lucrative Victoria Island corridor. Recall that it was this firm that turned out the lights on the Lekki toll plaza on the day of the EndSARS shootings. Interestingly, advertising agencies have complained bitterly about how Advertising Practioners Council Of Nigeria (APCON) and Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA) have continued to give undue advantage to Tinubu’s son’s advertising agency, according to a report by Daily Independent dated June 13, 2019. This is what they want to replicate at the federal level in the unfortunate event that they win next month.
Tinubu’s adopted son, Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo, the transport union kingpin, operates like a mafia boss, extorting money from transporters running into billions monthly. A 2021 report by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting stated that commercial drivers pay an average of N225m daily or N82.125bn ($190.6m) per year to MC who is now a member of Tinubu’s Presidential council. This has contributed to an increase in the cost of goods and services in Lagos.
In a bid to shield his shady lifestyle from public scrutiny, the so-called godfather of Lagos politics has continued to evade debates. He will possibly also avoid future gatherings where he will have to speak extemporaneously to a crowd not pre-selected for his benefit.
Tinubu’s life, primary and secondary school records, family lineage and even work records remain fraudulent. Today, he is planning on becoming Nigeria’s President. Imagine such a man having the keys to Nigeria’s treasury and having full control of the NDLEA, the EFCC, the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force? This will be the worst scandal in the history of mankind.
The effect will be far worse than the kleptocracy of the Sani Abacha years where over $5 billion were stolen. More importantly, Nigeria cannot have a Pablo Escobar as President.
For the avoidance of doubt, Waziri Atiku Abubakar is the most investigated former Vice-President in the history of Nigeria. He has been probed both locally and internationally but no dirt can be pinned on him. He also has not been charged for any crime locally or internationally.
Even during the last Presidential election, the APC made efforts to ensure that Atiku would not travel to the United States of America but this failed. Curiously, Tinubu himself has not travelled to the United States. One wonders what he is afraid of.
Tinubu does not enjoy immunity. We hereby call on the EFCC, the NDLEA, the Nigeria Police Force, the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and the Department of State Services to arrest and prosecute him.
We hereby call on Tinubu, the corn-man to drop his Presidential ambition for the sake of Nigeria
Bashorun Dele Momodu
Director, Strategic Communication
Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar
Spokesperson Presidential Campaign Council
Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar
Spokesperson Presidential Campaign Council