As the campaigns gather momentum, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, on Sunday called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Tinubu over drug peddling and money laundering allegations.
But in a swift reaction, the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sunday restated that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar lacks the character to be the president of Nigeria.
The PDP presidential campaign organisation also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to protect the integrity of the Nigerian military as the commander-in-chief and the sovereignty of the nation by summoning a meeting of the National Security Council over the establishment of a parallel army (Jagaban Army) set up by Tinubu.
While calling for his arrest at a media briefing in Abuja, addressed by Director, Strategic Communication, Bashorun Dele Momodu; Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Paul Ibe;
Spokesperson Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala; Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar,
Phrank Shaibu and Spokesperson of the Presidential Campaign Council, Charles Aniagwu, the campaign council alleged that the APC candidate’s public and private life reeked of corruption and criminality.
It said Nigerians have been concerned since the public outcry over the exposed design by the APC and its presidential candidate to use a parallel army, code-named the Jagaban Army, to undermine allegedly national security.
It said the outfit was an affront on the Nigeria Army designed to cause confusion, disrupt the 2023 election and derail the democratic process, noting that neither the APC campaign or Tinubu had disowned the formation or its nefarious plans.
The campaign team pooh-poohed his public records which it said was fraught with alleged inaccuracies and criminalities, noting that with the drug trafficking charges against him by the United States government for which he reached a forfeiture deal, the absence of academic records, lack of accurate data about his age and lingering money laundering investigations, Tinubu was unfit to be president.
The campaign team, which described the APC candidate as a “con man,” therefore, called on Tinubu to drop his inordinate ambition for the presidency for the sake of the country.
“We are currently at a crossroads and the wrong decision could spell doom for this great nation forever. Nigeria is battling many problems at the moment. We have banditry and terrorism ravaging many towns in the North, militants attacking oil facilities and bringing the country’s economy to its knees in the Niger Delta while secessionists are holding the southeast to ransom. It will be a huge disaster to add state sponsored drug trafficking into the mix.
“It is no longer news that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling APC has direct ties to drug lords and was used as a conduit pipe to launder their funds.
Court records show that Nigerian drug kingpin, Adegboyega Muiz Akande, ran an elaborate network of heroin traffickers in Chicago, Illinois, in the 1980s.
“This investigation has revealed the identity of other individuals including relatives who have worked for Akande with various duties in the distribution organisation. One of these individuals has been identified by the investigation as Bola Tinubu. Kevin Moss, a special agent with the Inland Revenue Service
Court records showed that Akande took Tinubu to First Heritage Bank where he opened an account for himself and his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, in 1989″, it said.
“Tinubu revealed in documents that he worked with Mobil Nigeria Limited and his salary was $2,400 and he had no other sources of income whatsoever. But records from his First Heritage Bank account showed that in 1990, Tinubu deposited $661,000 into his individual money market account and in 1991 deposited $1,216,500 into the same money market account.
“Mobil representatives told US authorities that even though Tinubu was a treasurer, he had no direct access to the company’s cash and thus could not deposit funds on behalf of the firm.
Tinubu, ever the political Maradona, quickly entered into an agreement with US authorities and forfeited $460,000 in order to avoid jail before running back to Nigeria. But this has not changed the fact that he was in cahoots with drug dealers and was their bagman. Nigerian law is clear”, it said.
It further stated that since criminal cases had no status of limitation, the drug trafficking case against Tinubu should be reopened.
“Criminal cases have no statute of limitation and can be re-opened at any time especially for the sake of national interest. We hereby call on the NDLEA to immediately arrest Bola Ahmed Tinubu and prosecute him for drug trafficking.
Apart from the criminal angle to this call, there is also the national security aspect.
“The world will recall what happened to Panama when Manuel Noriega, a known drug lord, became President in 1983. During his six-year rule, Panama became a narcos state as Noriega became an ally of the notorious Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel,” it said.
The Atiku Campaign Organisation also accused the APC’s standard bearer of looting the finances of Lagos State.
“Apart from his links to drug lords, Tinubu has also cornered the finances of Lagos State through several means, including land grabbing. The current land where his television station, TVC, is located on Aladelola Street, Ikosi, Ketu, was owned by the Lagos State Polytechnic until the students were forcefully ejected and relocated to Ikorodu.
“His current home in Asokoro, Abuja was owned by the Lagos State government. On the eve of his departure as governor, Tinubu signed an obnoxious law that would ensure that he and his family would continue to feed fat on the finances of the state,” it alleged.
“The law known as the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension) Law No 11 official Gazette of Lagos State, 2007 says that a former governor will be given a house in Abuja and Lagos and six brand new cars every three years, 100 per cent of the basic salary of the serving governor, (N7.7m per annum) free health care for himself and members of his family”, the Atiku campaign stated further.
It further maintained that, “the law also says a former governor will be entitled to furniture allowance, which is 300 per cent of their annual basic salary (N23.3m); house maintenance allowance, which is 10 per cent of basic salary (N778, 296); utility allowance, which is 20 per cent of the salary (N1.5m) and car maintenance allowance, which is 30 per cent of the annual basic salary (N2.3m).
“Other benefits include entertainment allowance, which is 10 per cent of the basic salary (N778,296) and a personal assistant, who will earn 25 per cent of the governor’s annual basic salary (N1.9m).”
The Atiku campaign, therefore, raised the alarm that the country was headed in the wrong direction should such a man be elected to be at the helm of affairs.
“Dear Nigerians, we are currently at a crossroads and the wrong decision could spell doom for this great nation forever. Nigeria is battling many problems at the moment.
“We have banditry and terrorism ravaging many towns in the north, militants attacking oil facilities and bringing the country’s economy to its knees in the Niger Delta while secessionists are holding the southeast to ransom. It will be a huge disaster to add state sponsored drug trafficking into the mix.
“In the unfortunate event of a Bola Tinubu Presidency, Nigerians will be plunged into a drug crisis that would make the Colombia situation a child’s play. With easy access to drugs, there will be an increase in violence. Nigerians cannot risk this.
“In fact, on March 20, 2021, the Chairman of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) said the South-West had the highest drug abuse cases in the country at 22.4 per cent,” it stated.
It further noted that, “On October 28, 2021, the Principal Staff Officer in charge of Treatment and Rehabilitation, NDLEA, Oyo State Command, Titilope Asiru, said in Ibadan at a drug-free symposium organised for secondary school students that Lagos State had the highest drug use prevalence in the southwest and by extension, Nigeria which is 33 per cent.
“Curiously, this is the state that has been ruled by a man with alleged drug ties since 1999. Nigerians are free to make up their minds.”
The campaign team also accused Tinubu of using Alpha Beta Consulting firm to loot the Lagos State treasury.
“Tinubu has also continued to brag about how he transformed the finances of Lagos State but this story is not completely accurate. As seen in court affidavits sworn to by Dapo Apara, a former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, Tinubu has continued to corner the finances of the state through this firm.
“In the writ of summons marked LD/7330GCMW/2020, Apara narrated how Alpha Beta was formed in 2002 when Tinubu was still the governor, in breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers. Apara noted that he was the one who came up with the idea of a consulting firm helping the state government to collect taxes.
“He said Tinubu accepted the proposal but gave many conditions including that his own people would own 70 per cent stakes in the company. Apara said Tinubu nominated Adegboyega Oyetola (later governor of Osun State) and one Olumide Ogunmola who would hold 70% of the shares of Alpha Beta,” it stated further.
“Apara stated that Tinubu as a sitting governor in 2002, controlled Alpha Beta which was receiving 10 per cent of tax collected on behalf of the state. The claimant stated that in 2010 or thereabout, Tinubu directed that the incorporation structure of the Alpha-Beta Consulting Ltd be changed from a limited liability company to a limited liability partnership under a newly promulgated law in Lagos State.
“He said the aim of the move was to shield Tinubu’s involvement from public scrutiny. Apara said as the head of the company, he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of billions of naira including a payment of N1bn to Vintage Press, publishers of The Nation newspaper,” it further stated.
According to the Atiku campaign team, the former Alpha Beta boss said he realised that all the payments were sanctioned by the partners nominated by Tinubu and they were done without his knowledge contrary to the terms of their partnership.
He stated, “The claimant avers that some of the suspicious transfers to third parties amongst many others unknown to the claimant are as follows: a) N500,000,000 payment to SW8 Investment Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 30/12/13; (b) $2,989,063.33 payment to Summit Integrated Services Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/1.5.
“(c) $1,407,000 USD payment to Summit Integrated Services Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/15; (d) N25million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 18/3/15; (e)N39million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 3/3/15; (I) N38million payment to Halizview International Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 6/3/15.
“(g) N550million payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 15/5/18 (h) N850million payment to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 14/3/15; (i) N1 billion in Afkar printing Press together with Vintage Press Limited and Lagoon Press Limited in October 2017; (J) N1 billion Ocean and Oil Investment Limited (Oando) various times; (k) N3.5 billion in Oceanic Bank avow Ecobank) various times; (I) N100 million Ibile Holdings Land Plot 16/17 Block VI (ONIRU ESTATE) (m) N500 million Starcomms (Aranda Resources) 100,000,000 SHARES (n) N1.4 billion Sterling Asset Management (o) N960 million HITV 300,000,000 shares (p) N11.9 billion SW8 (Wema Bank)30,909,090 shares.”
“Interestingly, ahead of the presidential election, Tinubu hurriedly reached a secret financial settlement with Dapo Apara before a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere which involved Apara dropping the case, a development very similar to his drug settlement with US authorities,” it said.
The presidential campaign council, therefore, called on EFCC, NDLEA to effect the arrest of Tinubu, pointing out that the former Lagos governor does not enjoy immunity.
“We hereby call on the EFCC, the NDLEA, the Nigeria Police Force, the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and the Department of State Services to arrest and prosecute him.
“We hereby call on Tinubu, the con-man to drop his presidential ambition for the sake of Nigeria,” he said.
Commenting further on the Jagaban Army, it alleged that the group was training and arming thugs with dangerous weapons in secret locations across the country ostensibly to use the illegal formation to undermine Nigerian security forces and unleash mayhem on Nigerians during the elections.
“Nigerians have been wondering how a political party or any candidate for that matter can create a parallel Army and adorned them with uniforms as well as ranks within a sovereign state as if Nigeria has become Asiwaju Tinubu’s fiefdom”, it said.
“Furthermore, Nigerians are alarmed that the APC presidential candidate went to London to declare war on our nation by openly charging his party cohorts to take power at all costs, only for him to return to the country to have his campaign set up a parallel army to undermine our national security in order to achieve his malevolent designs.
“The expectation of Nigerians was that after Asiwaju Tinubu declared that ‘political power is not served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte. It is what we are doing; It is being determined; you do it at all cost; fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run (away) with it’, the security authorities ought to have immediately taken him in for questioning for treasonable felony, the statement signed by the Spokesperson, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbodiyan, said.
The statement noted that “this is not the first time that Asiwaju Tinubu has come out brazenly to undermine the sovereignty of our nation as well as the office and the person of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigerians can recall how Asiwaju Tinubu went to the Presidential villa, undermine President Buhari by using the presidential facility in the seat of power to announce his presidential interest. That, to say the least, was felonious”.
“Nigerians are also aware of how the APC presidential candidate has arrogantly continued to disrespect, disparage and undermine the person of the president and how he had publicly mocked and depicted president Buhari as weak and weeping over losses in presidential elections until, according to him, he (Tinubu) came to his rescue and made him (Buhari) President”, alleged.
“The import is that Asiwaju Tinubu, in his arrogance, believes that he cannot be subjected to President Buhari’s Constitutional powers and this accounts for his temerity to run a parallel Army; a treasonable act against the office of the president and our national sovereignty.
“It is clear that Asiwaju Tinubu is desperate to be president, but with manifest signs of rejection by Nigerians, he is ready to cause bloodletting and destroy our democratic process.
“It is imperative to state that insurrectionary groups that unleashed mayhem and derailed democracy in many parts of the world all started with desperate power seekers who cannot gain office through democratic means.
“The fear across our country is that the APC Presidential Candidate is apparently following this dangerous path”, it said.
The statement called on the president to check the APC candidate’s excesses.
Atiku Lacks Character to Be Nigerian President, APC Insists
Meanwhile, the PCC of the APC has restated that Atiku lacks the character to be the president of Nigeria.
The Director, Media and Publicity, APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga in a statement issued yesterday said it was obvious that the PDP and its presidential candidate were yet to recover from the bombshell released last week by APC campaign which questioned the morality of Atiku to remain in the race, following his own damaging self-confession.
He said since the scandal broke out, along with legal action to compel anti-graft agencies to perform their role, Atiku and his party have laboured in vain to deflect and cover-up with their series of ad hominem arguments.
Onanuga said: “Instead of Atiku to apologise to Nigerians for abusing his office and position of trust in the past, Atiku’s spokesmen continue to dig deeper in the hole they already found themselves by raising many false allegations against our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The latest chapter in Atiku and PDP’s comedy, is the rehash of old tales and fables that have no basis in facts and reality against our candidate.
“Our stand remains that Atiku Abubakar lacks the character to be the president of Nigeria. He is unfit to lead our country because he can be an easy target for compromises that will be against national interest.”
The ruling party insisted that Atiku in deeds and words have shown that he cannot be trusted to manage the resources of Nigeria.
The APC said it believed that the characters who still parade themselves as his spokespersons have lost their minds.
“This is why they think Nigerians can be swayed by all their deliberate falsehoods and the lies they manufacture everyday against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deceive the public, when they should all be remorseful for the legendary corruption of their boss,” it said.
Kingsley Nwezeh and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja