2023 Election: Group files suit to force NDLEA’s prosecution of Bola Tinubu for U.S. drug crimes

An advocacy group has filed a suit to compel the Nigerian Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to arrest and prosecute Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, over allegations of trafficking narcotics and money laundering in the U.S. back in the late 90s.

Specifically, the Registered Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy group, prayed the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to issue an order to the anti-narcotics agency to immediately “initiate legal steps for the prosecution of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu” per the originating summons seen by Peoples Gazette.

The group asserted it was the NDLEA’s statutory duty to prosecute and weed out drug traffickers in the country.

The suit with reference number FHC/ABJ/CS/2237/2022, filed on December 2, named NDLEA, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and Bola Tinubu as the first, second and third defendants.

On September 21, 1993, a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed the drug and money-laundering charges with prejudice after Mr Tinubu chose to accept a plea deal that required him to forfeit $460,000 in alleged drug trafficking proceeds to the American government.

Although the matter occurred in the late 90s, several Nigerians refuse that the matter be swept under the carpet. They insisted that the former Lagos governor should also stand trial in his home country since he is bidding to occupy the nation’s highest office, a seat that should not be tainted by drug barons and other criminals.

Among such protagonists is Kalu Agu, an Abuja-based lawyer with ties to opposition politics, who has relentlessly sought to hold Mr Tinubu to account over the matter.

Mr Agu has already petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NDLEA to look into the matter before next year’s election, in which Mr Tinubu is a top contender.

“It is our view that you have a historic duty to ensure that Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is called to account for his deeds in money laundering arising from his involvement in narcotics trafficking,” Mr Kalu Agu asserted in the November 8 petitions to the anti-drug and anti-graft agencies.

Bayo Onanuga, Mr Tinubu’s campaign aide, did not immediately return calls and messages sent to his mobile phone for comments on the lawsuit.

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