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HomePoliticsAlleged drug trafficking: Tinubu forfeiture of $.46 mln to US not admittance...

Alleged drug trafficking: Tinubu forfeiture of $.46 mln to US not admittance of crime

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has given insight into the circumstances that led its candidate and president-elect, Bola Tinubu, to forfeit the sum of $460,000 to the government of the United States of America (USA) in 1993 following a drug trafficking allegation.

In its petition filed at the Presidential Election Petition Court, the party maintained that Tinubu merely surrendered funds in 10 bank accounts that were opened in either his name or that of Compass Finance and Investment Co.

The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, had challenged the announcement of Tinubu as the winner of the election, stating among other things that the APC candidate was not qualified to contest the election.

He said Tinubu’s forfeiture of his funds to the US government over a drug trafficking allegation was an indication that he engaged in infractions that were enough to disqualify him from contesting an election.

The APC, however, told the tribunal that funds in the said accounts, which were domiciled in two commercial banks, were subject to a civil forfeiture proceeding in Case No. 93C4483.

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It further argued that the said forfeiture Tinubu made to the US government, having lasted a period of 29 years, was no longer a valid ground to challenge his eligibility to contest the presidential election.

According to the APC, the purported decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in the said case was not a fine but a decree of forfeiture of the amount of $460,000 to the United States pursuant to the settlement of claim by the parties to the case.

Besides, the APC, through its team of lawyers led by Lateef Fagbemi, told the court that the Federal Government had, as far back as 2003, through the American Consulate in Nigeria, inquired about Tinubu’s criminal record.

It said the outcome of the inquiry that FG made through the Inspector General of Police yielded a clean bill of health that unequivocally and unreservedly cleared Tinubu of any criminal record in the United States of America.

“The said decision is not against the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) but against the funds in the various account opened in the name of Bola Tinubu with First Heritage Bank and City Bank N.A.

“The compromise terms that led to the forfeiture were preceded by express admission on record that the 2nd Respondent (Tinubu) did not admit the commission of any drug, drug-related or illicit conduct of dishonesty or fraud that fits into any of the grounds of disqualification to contest for the office of president of Nigeria at the February 25, 2023 general election,” the APC told the Tribunal.

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