Tinubu was indicted for Cocaine, Herroine and Gun crimes and forfeited $460,000.00 in the early 1990’s. Cocaine, Heroine, Guns and other paraphernalia used in running the drug business were all recovered from the Tinubu-led drug cartel in Chicago in the early 1993.
“He is still a suspect and the case against him is not yet closed. It can be reopened anytime even though he has forfeited proceeds from the crime,”
a U.S Security source revealed. Sources said, “Even if today Tinubu decides to visit the United States again, he would be questioned. “His crime is not one that can be swept under the carpet just like that.
“The usual suspicion by the United States and other countries is that once you have a criminal record, you must be monitored properly in order to
forestall you committing the same crime again.”
Tinubu’s drug crime life has refused to go away from the U.S authorities even as mainstream media houses in Nigeria have been largely compromised
and would not report the atrocities and conviction of the APC leader.
According to the document, signed by a former United States Government Narcotics Attache in its embassy in Nigeria, Andre W. Kellum, Tinubu
operated an organisation that distributed cocaine.
Kellum who signed the U.S documents while serving in Nigeria, is now Regional Director for the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA, in Bangkok,
Thailand. Kellum said that though Tinubu was not subjected to criminal prosecution, the fact that he acceded to forfeiting funds to the United States Government was on its own a conviction. Kellum’s letter was a response to a petition pertaining to Tinubu’s suitability to stand for re-election in 2003 as the governor of Lagos State.
The petitioner said that Tinubu, owing to his conviction in the United States for running a drug cartel, was not suitable to stand for election in Nigeria.
In the letter dated April 9, 2003, addressed to the former Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Bello Lafiaji, Kellum
wrote,“After consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of International Affairs (OIA), this is in response to the above referenced
matter, regarding Bola Ahmed TINUBU (emphasis that of Kellum).
“Pursuant to the aforementioned request, the Lagos, Nigeria Country Office (LNCO) of the Drug Enforcement Administration immediately contacted
DOJ/OIA officials. Copies of documents received by the LNCO from the NDLEA were forwarded to these officials for verification.
“As such, please note that paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the complaint indicates that persons named therein operated an organisation that distributed heroin and the proceeds of that illegal distribution were in the subject acounts to be forfeited. The complaint references U.S. (criminal) money laundering and (criminal) drug statutes as the authority under which the forfeiture occurs. Nevertheless, note that the complaint in this civil action identifies the funds as the defendant (Tinubu), not the account holders.
“Likewise, the Decree of Forfeiture, signed by a U.S. District Judge, identifies the criminal statutory authority for the civil forfeiture of the funds without regard to whether there is a corresponding criminal prosecution.
“The facts revealed in the U.S. Investigation of the funds and their source are detailed in the affidavit filed by the Internal Revenue Service. In the letter from the NDLEA that resulted in Kellum’s reaction, the lead anti-narcotic agency in Nigeria said that the conclusion it could draw was that Tinubu’s drug case was yet to be closed by the United States.
The letter, in its opinion section, noted, “Former paragraph 6 above, Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu was involved in Money Laundering Transactions
along with Mueez Adegboya Akande and Abiodun Agbele in the United States of America.
“Even though he was not charged to court, he had to compromise the case. Otherwise, he would have lost the whole money. “Arising from the case, Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu forfeited 460,000 US dollars to the United States Government being proceeds of narcotic trafficking or property involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 USO 1956 and 1957 and therefore was forfeitable to the United States (emphasis that of the NDLEA).
“It is pertinent to note that the funds held by Citi bank which was released to Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the action filed against these funds held in the said accounts was dismissed with prejudice. This in effect means the case has not been closed (emphasis that of NDLEA) and could be reopened at any time by the United States Government.”
The opinion formed by the NDLEA on the issue as a result of Kellum’s letter, arose from a petition by one of the governorship aspirants in Lagos State in 2003, Sir Babatunde Abayomi Olowu, that Tinubu was not fit to stand for the governorship based on his conviction on drug offences in the United States.
The NDLEA said that though Olowu’s petition, dated January 16, 2003 raised several grounds for Tinubu to be prevented from contesting, the agency
noted that the aspect in which it was interested was that between 1988 and 1993, the former governor was involved in narcotics trafficking and money
laundering. It said that upon receipt of the petition, it sent copies of the court that indicted Tinubu to the DEA in Nigeria for assitance. It said the DEA, through Kellum, replied on April 9, 2003, confirming the existence of such proceedings.
The NDLEA said based on the report, it established that:
(a) That there was in fact a proceeding in the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division in 1993 in which the United States of America was the Plaintiff and the funds in 10 accounts held by Governor Bola Tinubu and Compass Finance and Investment Co. at First Heritage Bank and Citi Bank International in the United States were the Defendants.
(b) The substance of the application filed by the United States Attorney was “This is an in rem forfeiture case brought pursuant to 22 U.S.C. Section 881 and 18 U.S.C. Section 981 which provides for the forfeiture of property representing the proceeds of drug trafficking and property involved in money laundering.”
( c ) Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu defended the said publication through his counsel Patrick S. Coffey and there was a stipulation and compromise
settlement of claims to the funds held by Heritage Bank and Citi Bank.
(d) The United States and the Individual Claimants i.e. Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu and others agreed to settle and to compromise this action upon terms previously presented to the court.
(e) The court made the following findings “The United States filed a verified complaint for forfeitures against the funds in the above captioned defendant accounts because there was probable cause to believe that the property represented proceeds of narcotics trafficking or was property involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 U.S.C.
In 1956 and 1957 and therefore was forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 881 (a) 6 and 18 U.S.C. 981. The funds in the defendant accounts were seized initially by seizure warrants.”
(f) From the findings of the court, “Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu has admitted and acknowledged that the funds traced to his account represented
proceeds of narcotics trafficking or was property involved in financial transactions in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and 1957 and therefore was
forfeitable to the United States pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 881 (a) and 18 U.S.C. 981. The funds in the defendants acounts were seized initially
by seizure warrants.”
(g) Following from (f) above, Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu has also admitted that he was involved in laundering proceeds of drug trafficking in the
United States of America and the proceeds of such illicit drugs or money laundered in the sun of 460,000 US dollars be forfeited to the United
(h) Although Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu was not charged to court for trafficking in narcotics, he was nonetheless indicted for laundering proceeds of drug trafficking being financial transactions forfeitable to the United States Government.
(i) Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu opted for settlement so that he would not forfeit the whole money. He would have forfeited the whole money if the
mater had gone through full trial.
(j) Under the Nigerian law, it is possible to forfeit property believed to be proceeds of trafficking in narcotic drugs even if the suspect has not been convicted and is discharged by the court on technical grounds.
(k) Such a person whose property has been forfeited on grounds of being proceeds of drug trafficking will be classified as a baron or money launderer and certainly will be indexed and put on watchlist.
(l) From the above, if Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu is not the incumbent Executive Governor of Lagos State he would have been invited for interview
to shed light on the facts admitted by him in this case.
The NDLEA, in a further note, said that at the time of this transaction, Tinubu was a staff of Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, with a monthly take home
pays of $2,400. The note said that despite the amount Tinubu receives, he completed a credit application for a loan of $8,000 to buy a car on January 6, 1990.
He reportedly said in the application that his only source of income was from his job with Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited. The note said that on November 20, 1990, one Abiodun Agbele, whom Tinubu said is known to him, was arrested after selling one ounce of white heroin to an undercover agent for $7,000.
Agbele was described as an agent of Mueez A. Akande in the distribution of heroin in the United States. The note added, “Interrogation of the said Agbele and further investigations revealed the identity of the 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.
“Governor Tinubu did not file any document to explain the source of money totalling over 1.4 million dollars which was traced to his account which was clearly above his means of income.
“Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu was in the habit of using different residential addresses for different transactions apparently not to leave traces.”
In its conclusion, the NDLEA said of Tinubu, “Even though he was not charged to court, he had to compromise the case. Otherwise, he would have lost the whole money….
“It is pertinent to note that the funds held by Citi bank which was released to Governor Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the action filed against these funds held in the said accounts was dismissed with prejudice. This in effect means the case has not been closed and could be reopened at anytime by the United States Government.”
John A. Nordberg of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, ordered the forfeiture of the huge sums, found
in 10 of Tinubu’s accounts, believed to be proceeds of illicit drug trade.
The court, in the order given on October 4, 1993, said the drug deal,specifically in white heroin, involved Tinubu; his wife, Oluremi; and three of his family members.
The accounts from which the funds were seized included First Heritage Bank (263226700), Citi International Bank (39483134, 39483396, 4650279566, 00400200, 39936404, 39936383, 52050-89451952, 52050-89451952 and 52050-89451953).
According to a Special Agent of the United States Criminal Investigation Service, Kevin Moss, the DEA became involved in the investigation of a white heroin network operating in Chicago, Illinois (where Tinubu alleged he got a university certificate, which became a source of controversy while he was in office) and Hammond, Indiana in 1988.
Cocaine, heroin, guns and other paraphernalia used for running the drug cartel were recovered by the investigators. The affidavit added, “The investigation disclosed that an individual known as Lee Andrew Edwards was a source of white heroin. Edwards is currently incarcerated for attempting to murder a federal agent while the agent was executing a search warrant.
“Source A provided reliable information about Lee Andrew Edwards including the identity of a telephone number” and huge profits that Agbele admitted “he often wired to bank accounts on behalf of Akande.”
Agbele, Moss said, “controlled the operation of the white heroin distribution network from Nigeria in conjunction with other individuals in Nigeria and the United States. Much of the business, at the time the operation flourished, was conducted by telephone, although, according to Agbele, Akande occasionally travelled to the United States under an assumed name to retrieve portions of the drug profits.
“During the course of the investigation, DEA agents learned that in November 1986, Akande completed a lease application for an apartment on which he listed his employment as an account representative for Globe-Link International. Akande listed his address as 7504 South Stewart Avenue,
Chicago, Illinois and a former address as 7527 North Sheridan Road also in Chicago. On the application, Akande listed … as his spouse and his
current landlord was identified as Christmas Schaffer.
“Further investigation by DEA disclosed that Agbele also completed a lease application for an apartment located at 4050 W. 115th Street, Chicago,
Illinois. In the application, Agbele stated that he was employed by Globe-Link as a sales representative. The investigators have confirmed that Akande maintained an apartment in this complex.
“This investigation has disclosed 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 Ahmed Tinubu.
“According to bank records from the First Heritage Bank, Country Club Hills, Illinois, Tinubu opened an individual money market account and a
“NOW” account in December 1989. In the application, Tinubu stated that his address was 704 South Stewart, Chicago, Illinois. This is the same address used previously by Akande and Globe-Link. Upon opening this account, Tinubu deposited $1,000 in traveller’s cheque.
“Bank records disclosed that five days after the account was opened, on January 4, 1990, $80,000 was deposited into the NOW account at First
Heritage Bank by wire transfer through First Chicago from Banc One Houston. The transaction was completed at the direction of Akande who
resided at 7930 Corporate Drive. Akande previously used this address.
Further, the investigation disclosed through a review of bank records that an individual named Akande had three accounts at Banc One.
“According to bank employees, when Tinubu came to First Heritage Bank in December 1989 to open the accounts, he was introduced to them by Akande who at that time maintained an account at the bank.
“According to bank records, Tinubu also opened a joint checking account in his name and the name of his wife. The wife previously opened a joint bank account also at this bank with Akande, …the wife of Akande.