PDP/APC trade words over Tinubu's forfeiture of $460,000 alleged drugs money


The All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Councils, PCCs, were at each other’s jugular yesterday, over the $460,000 deducted from the accounts of the APC Presidential flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the United States of America, U.S.

The Chief Spokesman of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Festus Keyamo said that the $460,000 was tax deducted from one of the 10 accounts linked to Tinubu and pooh-poohed the documents he attributed to the PDP, which are circulating in the social media, which accused Tinubu of drug deals while he lived in the US.

However, the PDP insisted that Tinubu has a lot of explanations to do and dismissed what it described as Keyamo’s “spirited attempts” to deflect attention from his principal’s questionable past.

Keyamo said $460,000 was deducted from one of the 10 accounts linked to the APC presidential candidate as tax on investment domiciled in US banks, while he lived in America in the 1990s.

Keyamo, who spoke on Channels’ Television’s ”Today Politics” programme on Wednesday night, insisted that there was no criminal indictment or conviction against Tinubu, alleging that the opposition PDP was behind the reincarnation of the controversial court document.

“His (Tinubu’s) detractors kept bringing up these issues over and over whenever his political profile is rising. Whenever he wants to run for office or any political turn in his life, they will bring up these issues,” Keyamo said.

“The date on the papers flying up and down, the date of certification is 2022, so they are using this to confuse people that these are fresh papers.

”If documents are 40 years old or 100 years old, once you go to court, and apply for certified true copies of those documents, they will give you those documents but they will stamp the day they are giving you those documents.

“This is what our detractors, the PDP, perhaps, that is what they went to the US for when they pretended that they went for high-level engagement. This is part of the high-level engagement they went for.”

Keyamo also said although 10 accounts were linked to Tinubu by United States authorities in the early 90s, $460,000 were deducted from one of the accounts as tax on investments domiciled in US banks.

He was reacting to the controversy surrounding a document recently released by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois said to have investigated Tinubu’s alleged involvement in narcotics and money laundering about 30 years ago.

The matter, which ended in a settlement, led to Tinubu’s forfeiture of $460,000 in one of the accounts linked to the former governor of Lagos State.

Keyamo said Tinubu took responsibility for all the 10 accounts because some were also traced to his mother and “relatives.”

He also said Tinubu was roped into the drug trafficking case of two Nigerians, who once stayed in separate flats in the same building where the ex-governor stayed at a time in the US.

“He, Asiwaju, went to open an account, the address by which he opened the account was already used by these people…investigated for narcotics,” he said.

‘Not a deliberate act’

Keyamo further stated that Tinubu was an employee of Mobil Oil and not a treasurer of a drug cartel.

He explained that Tinubu deposited some funds in bank accounts in the US as investments and got returns on those investments.

The spokesman said the banks were supposed to deduct taxes from the investments but they did not and this was not a “deliberate act” on the part of Tinubu.

“The deposits he made there (in banks) are what bankers called investments; he kept the money there and he was getting interests.

”They (the US government) said he had not paid tax on those interests. That is all. And guess what? The banks are supposed to deduct the tax from source.

“Out of the 10 accounts, it was only one account – the one in Heritage Bank – that they took $460,000 as tax on interest that he benefited on the investment he made in those accounts.

“In fact, all the money in Heritage Bank was not taken; they took only $460,000 as tax,” said Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State, Labour and Employment.

Tinubu has questions to answer over forfeiture, PDP insists

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, said  in a telephone interview with Vanguard, in response to Keyamo’s allegations that the PDP exhumed documents in a vain attempt to make Tinubu appear guilty of a crime for forfeiting US$460,000 believed to be proceeds of illicit drugs trade that, “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t be responding to Keyamo or the APC on this issue but Nigerians deserve to know the truth about people, who are seeking for public office.

“In this case, not just public office but also the highest office in the land. It is a basic principle in law that ‘He who must come to equity must do so with clean hands.’

“What Nigerians are saying is that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu should come clean of these allegations.

“If one may ask Keyamo, who by the way is a lawyer, what does forfeiture mean? A simple dictionary definition of forfeiture means: ‘loss or giving up of something as a penalty for wrongdoing.‘ simply put, You don’t forfeit if no offence was committed.

“Tinubu and the APC should stop trying to make the PDP a scapegoat. They should speak on the issues.

“I’m glad Keyamo did not say PDP manufactured the documents, he said the documents were ‘exhumed,’ which means, they exist.

“Nigerians deserve answers and we hope the APC and its presidential candidate are ready with the answers because these issues will not simply disappear.

“For us in the PDP, we are ready for the task ahead, that is why we have been campaigning, selling our candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who need little or no introduction.

“Nigerians deserve the best and our candidates stand head above shoulders in comparison to the others; that is why they deserve the votes of Nigerians in February, 2023.”

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