APC explains Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460k to US in drug related case
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, defended the alleged forfeiture of $460,000 by president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to the United States of America in 1993, over a drug-related case.
The APC while filing its processes to defend the outcome of the presidential election that was held on February 25 at the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, said the forfeited funds which were domiciled in both First Heritage Bank and Citi Bank N. A, were subject to a “civil forfeiture proceeding” in Case No: 93C4483.
The ruling party, however, 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.
According to the party, the purported decision of the United State District Court Northern District of Illinois in the said case was not a fine but a decree of forfeiture of the amount of $460,000 to the United State pursuant to the settlement of claim by the parties to the case, and as such, was no ground to overturn his victory in the poll.
“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 APC said through its team of lawyers led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.
“The compromise terms that led to the forfeiture were preceded by express admission on record that the 2nd Respondent 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 office of president of Nigeria at the 25th February, 2023 general election,” the lawyers insisted.
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The APC added that the outcome of the inquiry which the Nigerian government made through the Inspector-General of Police, “yielded a clean bill of health that unequivocally and unreservedly cleared 2nd Respondent of any criminal record, interest or association in the United States of America”.
“The formal clearance report dated February 4, 2003, under the hand of Legal attaché to the United States Embassy, Nigeria in response to the inquiry by the Inspector General of Police is hereby pleaded and shall be relied upon for its full effect; particularly the portion in the second paragraph which states-
‘In relation to your letter, dated February 3, 2003, reference number SR.3000 /IGP SEC/ABJ/VOL. 24/287, regarding Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a records check of the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s (FBI) National Crime Information Center (NCIC) was conducted.
‘The results of the checks were negative for any criminal arrest records, wants, or warrants for Bola Ahmed Tinubu (DOB 29 March. 1952).
““Consequently, the American Consulate, Lagos Nigeria revealed that there was no record whatsoever of any criminal arrest, warrants and/or conviction regarding the 2nd Respondent. The Respondent shall find and rely on the letter issued by the Embassy of the United States of America, Nigeria dated 4th February 2003.
“Furthermore, the release from forfeiture of other monies in the account the subject of the proceedings in Case No: 93C4483; in excess of one million dollars and for the benefit of the named beneficiary K.O Tinubu though not the account holder, less forfeited sum of $460,000.00 (Four Hundred and Sixty Thousand United States Dollars) is a manifest affirmation that the case was not a criminal trial and the fund forfeited was not a fine imposed as a punishment for a criminal conviction of any person- let alone the 2nd Respondent,” the party added.