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Bola Tinubu US website links APC leader to drug deals, fraud

The article, which was published on April 27, 2015, is titled “Nigeria’s Next Leader’s Ties to a Heroin Ring.”

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APC leader, Bola Tinubu play

APC leader, Bola Tinubu

(Daily Mail NG)

US website, Daily Beast has linked the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu to a heroin ring.

The article, which was published on April 27, 2015, is titled “Nigeria’s Next Leader’s Ties to a Heroin Ring.”

In it, Tinubu is described as a former “bagman for two heroin traffickers” while his connection to President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari is also brought to the fore.

The article reads in part:

“General Muhammed Buhari’s political partner is a former bagman for two heroin traffickers. But that’s just business as usual in Nigeria.”

“Nigeria’s election last month was celebrated as an unlikely victory for democracy in an African country with a tenuous record of free and fair representation.”

“But the man most responsible for midwifing General Muhammed Buhari’s ballot triumph over current President Goodluck Jonathan has a spotty CV. Former Lagos provincial governor Bola Tinubu, affectionately nicknamed the Jagaban, is today seen as a shrewd if not “deeply Machiavellian” Svengali in Nigeria’s politics as well as the architect of a hugely successful anti-corruption platform.”

“But 20 years ago he had to forfeit nearly half a million dollars to the U.S. Treasury Department after being named as an accomplice in a white heroin-trafficking and money-laundering ring that stretched from West Africa to the U.S. Midwest.”

“A recent gauzy Financial Times profile of him, for instance, neglected to mention that two decades ago Tinubu was identified as a bagman for two Nigerian heroin movers who operated out of Chicago and Hammond, Indiana. They were Adegboyega Mueez Akande and Abiodun Agbele, Akande’s nephew, who was exposed to law enforcement after selling white heroin first to Lee Andrew Edwards, another dealer later jailed for trying to murder a federal agent, and then to an undercover cop.”

“In a 1993 court docket from the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois, which The Daily Beast obtained from Sahara Reporters, a Nigeria-focused news outlet, IRS Special Agent Kevin Moss said that Akande had run the white heroin ring in the late 1980s until 1990, when he handed off the U.S arm of the business to his nephew, who had arrived in 1988.”

“Akande then returned to Nigeria but continued to oversee the operation from abroad with the help of others at home and in the United States, including his relatives. One of the individuals identified in his cartel by Moss was Tinubu, then a Chicago State University-educated accountant working as a treasurer for Mobil Oil Nigeria Ltd, a subsidiary of energy giant Mobil Oil, which was still a few years shy of its famous merger with Exxon in 1999.”

“Tinubu gave differing accounts for his wealth to Moss. In one phone call from Nigeria, shortly after the U.S. Treasury seized his money, he admitted to wiring $100,000 to Akande’s Houston bank account and to receiving the $80,000 from Akande into his First Heritage account. Tinubu also said that apart from one other account in Fairfax, Virginia, he had no other money stashed in U.S. banks.”

“Except that there were other accounts. Citibank has a worldwide banking division known as Citibank International where Tinubu stashed an additional $550,000. He also controlled an entity called Compass Finance and Investments Company Ltd., of which Akande and Agbele were directors.”

“There’s no evidence that Tinubu was ever indicted for any crime. He eventually settled with the district court, turning over $460,000 of the seized $1.4 million, with the remainder released back to him. The Beast tried repeatedly to contact Marsha McClellan, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, but was unsuccessful.”

The article further refers to a recent open letter written by Buruji Kashamu, a Nigerian politician also accused of drug dealing in the US, praising Tinubu and calling him his role model.

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