“Tinubu Linked With Drug Trafficking By US Court; Not Qualified To Contest Nigerian Presidency” – Peter Obi Tells Elections Tribunal (Read)
In an effort to contest Bola Tinubu’s victory in the election of February 25th, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP), filed his appeal on Tuesday.
Tinubu was proclaimed “President-elect” by the Independent National Electoral Commission after being named the election’s victor.
Obi claimed in his petition to the Presidential Election Petition Court in Abuja that the election was marred by a number of anomalies, including the APC candidate’s non-qualification.
He claims that Tinubu’s forfeiture of his funds to the US government over allegations of narcotics trafficking is proof that the former governor of Lagos State broke the law and should be disqualified from standing for office in Nigeria.
According to SaharaReporters, court documents from the US connected Tinubu to a narcotics trafficking case, which led to his eventual forfeiture of $460,000 to the US authorities.
On February 18, 2009, the newspaper was able to get actual copies of the verdict in the case of United States versus Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in which the ‘President-elect’ was accused of huge narcotics trafficking and money laundering along with other defendants.
The SaharaReporters report from September 16, 2008, How US Federal Authorities successfully Connected Tinubu to Drug Trafficking Ring in Chicago, is directly related to (and further documents) this judgment.
According to the US’s verified complaint of forfeiture, which was represented by Michael J. Shepard, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, “Beginning as early as 1998, Adegboyega Mueez Akande, with others, operated an organization which distributed white heroin, a controlled substance under Title 21 of the United States Code.
This distribution operation was carried out on a massive scale, and it generated considerable profits.
The court ruled that the $460,000 in assets in an account with Bola Tinubu’s name “represents proceeds of drugs or were involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 U.S.C. ss 1956 and 1957 and consequently these funds are forfeited to the United States.”
Bola Tinubu finally chose a negotiated settlement with the US government following extensive litigation in which Tinubu asserted that the funds lawfully belonged to him, his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, and his surrogate mother, one Alhaja Mogaji.
Hon. Judge John A. Nordberg directed that the $460,000 that Bola Tinubu had in his First Heritage Bank account be forfeited to the federal government in the settlement decision dated September 15, 1993.
Obi based this assertion in his appeal on the argument that Tinubu was ineligible to run for office at the time of the election.
The court papers stated,
“The Petitioners state that the Grounds on which the Petition is based are as follows: The 2nd Respondent was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election.
“The election of the 2nd Respondent was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provisions of the more than one Constituency. “The Petitioners shall contend at the trial that the purported sponsorship of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents by the 4th Respondent was rendered invalid by reason of the 3rd Respondent knowingly allowing himself to be nominated as the Vice Presidential Candidate whilst he was still a Senatorial Candidate for the Borno Central Constituency. The Petitioners shall further contend that for this reason, the votes purportedly recorded for the 2nd Respondent at the contested Presidential election were/are wasted votes and ought to be disregarded. “The Petitioners further plead that the 2nd Respondent was also at the time of the election not qualified to contest for election to the office of President as he was fined the sum of $460,000.00 (Four-Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars) for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in Case No: 93C 4483 between: “In the Decree of Forfeiture, Judge John A. Nordberg in that said Case No: 93C 4483 ordered on October 4, 1993 on page 3 as follows: “ORDERED that the funds in the amount of $460,000 in account 263226700 held by First Heritage Bank in the name of Bola Tinubu represent the proceeds of narcotics trafficking or were involved in financial transactions in violation of 18U.S.C. $$1956 and 1957 and therefore these funds are forfeited to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. $ 381(a)(6) and18U.S.C. $982; it is further ORDERED that First Heritage Bank shall issue a check in the amountof$460,000 payable to Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and that these funds shall be disposed of according to law; “It is further ORDERD that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over this action in order to implement and enforce the terms of this Decree of Forfeiture. “The above orders were made pursuant to paragraph 5 of the “Stipulations and Compromise Settlement of Claims to the Funds held by Heritage Bank and CitiBank filed by the parties, which stated as follows: ‘The parties further agree that $460,000 from the defendant account held by Heritage bank in the name of Bola Tinubu shall be forfeited by the United States and disposed of according to law. The funds remaining in the account shall be released to K.O. Tinubu.’ “The Petitioners hereby plead and shall rely on certified copies of the following documents, namely: a) Verified Complaint for Forfeiture, submitted by Michael J. Shepard (United States Attorney) and signed by Marsha A. McClellan (Assistant United States Attorney).”
Kashim Shettima, who served as Tinubu’s running partner in the February presidential election, was also nominated in the same election for the positions of vice president of Nigeria and senator from Borno Central.