Following the latest media reports indicating that the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was convicted of drug related cases in the United States of America, a letter issued by the embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria stating the contrary has resurfaced.
The letter, which passed through the Administrative Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State, was addressed to the then Inspector General of the Nigerian Police, the late Mr. Tafa Balogun.
The letter with reference number; 011-234-1-261-0097 ext 244, was dated February 4, 2003.
It was stated in the letter that “in relation to your letter dated February 3, 2003, reference number SR. 3000/IGPSEC/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). For information of your department, NCIC is a centralized information center that maintains the records of every criminal arrest and conviction within the United States and it’s territories.”
The IG was then urged that if he had any questions “regarding these matters, please contact me direct at 1-261-0195, ext. 319 or via facsimile at 1-262-0257.”
Bola Tinubu had also refuted the reports that he was indicted and convicted of drug trafficking in the United States, US, 30 years ago.
News platforms had released certified judgment documents of a Chicago District Court indicting and convicting Tinubu of drug dealings and money laundering in 1993.
The document said Tinubu was a drug baron who entered a plea bargain leading to the forfeiture of his assets to American authorities in 1993.
Based on his indictment, Tinubu was said to have on October 4, 1993, forfeited a sum of $460, 000 dollars in his bank account number 263226700 domiciled at First Heritage Bank to the US government.
The judgment was signed by Michael Shepard, a US Attorney and Marsha McClellan, Assistant United States Attorney.
However, Tinubu described the documents as a campaign of calumny.
The former Lagos State governor spoke through the spokesperson of his campaign team, Bayo Onanuga.
In a Facebook post, Onanuga said the claims that Tinubu was a drug baron were erroneous.
He wrote: “The campaign’s media and publicity director, Bayo Onanuga had perused the new document and dismissed it as the same old tale. It is as dead as a dodo.
“One of the unconscionable and wicked lies peddled by political opponents about Tinubu was to paint him erroneously as a drug baron.
“The accusation arose out of an investigation by FBI agent Kevin Moss of Tinubu and Compass Investment and Finance accounts at First Heritage Bank and Citi-Bank in the US.
“The FBI never charged Tinubu with any drug offence; the case did not go on trial. Tinubu was never convicted. And he was never barred from entering the US.
“In 2003, when the PDP opponents wanted to use the shuttered allegation to disqualify Tinubu from running for a second term in Lagos, the Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun made an enquiry with the American Consulate on Tinubu’s status.”
Onanuga also recalled that the US consulate “gave Tinubu a clean bill” in response to a request by the Legal Attache, Michael H. Bonner.