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U.S. Embassy’s Letter Absolving Tinubu Of Conviction Of Drug Cases In America Resurfaces

By Adedayo Said

Following the latest media reports indicating that the All Progressives Congress (APC) standard bearer in the forthcoming general elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was convicted of drug-related cases in the USA, 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 Tafa Balogun.

The letter with a reference number; 011-234-1-261-0097 ext 244, dated February 4, 2003, revealed that Tinubu’s record checks by the FBI and NCIC show that he is cleared of criminal arrest or conviction in the US or its territories.

The letter reads, “about 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 centre that maintains the records of every criminal arrest and conviction within the United States and its territories.”

Balogun urged that if he had any questions “regarding these matters, please contact me directly at 1-261-0195, ext. 319 or via facsimile at 1-262-0257.”

Tinubu had also refuted the reports that he was indicted and convicted of drug trafficking in the United States, U.S. 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 that 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 U.S. government.

The judgment was signed by Michael Shepard, a U.S. 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 U.S.

“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.

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