Thursday, 13 October 2022


Toward 1983 general elections  the police arrested the son of Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, one of the six presidential candidates, for being in possession of cannabis. But in deference to Braithwaite, the police refused to identify the suspect and his father. The Police only issued a statement that said ‘’the son of a presidential candidate was arrested….’’. The Braithwaite Campaign soon issued a statement, identifying the young boy as the ‘’son of our presidential candidate’’, and promising that Mr. Braithwaite would cooperate with the authorities in their investigations. Braithwaite himself later offered to drop out of the presidential race, but the other five candidates commended him for his probity and prevailed on him to continue in the contest. This was Nigeria, a little longer than generation ago. A presidential candidate, embarrassed by the son’s behaviour, owned up to his misdemeanor, apologized for him and offered to step down from the race, apparently to save him, his family and the nation further humiliation.

Exactly forty years later, in 2022, another presidential candidate is the subject of a major drug story which developed in the United States. Widely reported by many  news outlets, the viral news is that the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was charged (along with other defendants) in a case of drug trafficking and money laundering even when he was working for an oil company. Tinubu is said to have been involved in a white heroin trafficking network which operated in Chicago and some parts of Indiana and led by one Adegboyega Mueez Akande between 1988 and 1993.

According to the Verified Complaint for forfeiture in case No. 93 C 4483 which was filed on July 26, 1993 before the Hon. Judge Nordberg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Government urged the Court to order the forfeiture of funds in accounts ( pls google Olufemi Aduwo and Bola Tínubu,in my petition to CCB in 2011 all the bank accounts were listed) in the name of Bola Tinubu because there was probable cause to believe that the funds in Tinubu’s bank accounts represented proceeds of narcotics trafficking or were monies involved in financial transactions in violations of 18 U.S.C, sections 1956 and 1957 and therefore, was forfeitable to the U.S. Government.

However, in a tacit defense of the ownership of the funds,  Bola Tinubu averred in Court that the funds belonged to himself, his wife, K.O. Tinubu and his surrogate mother, Alhaja Mogaji and warranted that they had exclusive right, title and interest to the funds. After intense investigations and trial, Tinubu forfeited $466,000 in his account to the US government. This amount was deemed by the U.S. authorities to be proceeds of drug trade in which the APC Presidential candidate was involved.

It is quite telling that the Bola Tinubu media  Campaign team  has not commented on this story since it was published when he was governor and republished recently after he won the APC primary. Even as the story has been trending online, the campaign has neither owned up nor debunked it, apparently hoping that Nigerians, obsessed with ethnic and religious politics and other mundane issues, are not paying attention.

Regardless, even as we are known for our short memories and brief attention span, definetely the Tinubu story will linger on. What are the implications of a governing party nominating a man with such a sordid background as its presidential candidate. First, it shows that decadence has permeated every aspect of our politics, so much so that we are now too inured to corruption to care. Poverty and depravity have so overwhelmed us that we are no longer alarmed by anything. Did the APC delegates and almighty Northern governors not know that Tinubu was once a drug runner, do they know the impact of drugs is deadly of equal proportion with terrorism, infact both are twins. 

Second, if Tinubu is elected President,  how would he be received by world leaders? Would Joe Bidden receive a man, indicted by FBI of dealing in heroine, into the White House? will he stand shoulder-to-shoulder with world leaders at any global platform?Third, what would the world think of Nigeria and Nigerians? A country once seen as giant of Africa and torchbearer to the rest of the continent, being led by a man of crooked pedigree, cannot escape the scorn of the rest of the world.

Fourth, did Bola Tinubu know the harmful effects of heroine? Did he worry him that this substance has sent many to their deaths and destruction? And finally, why is the Nigerian media not outraged or alarmed by this revelation? Where are the commentators and talk show hosts?. Without mincing words, Bola Tinubu is a huge  security threat to Nigeria, Sub Sahara Africa and  the entire world. l want  to appeal to President Buhari to prevail on Bola Tinubu to step down in the interest of generation yet  unborn and Nigeria. 

Olufemi Aduwo.

NB: l am not a Card holder of any political party, currently l am the Permanent Representative of CCDI to ECOSOC /United Nations.

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