For the record: Tinubu is a documented drug-trafficker (3)
That Mr Tinubu, a documented drug-trafficker, as copiously established by US law enforcement authorities in relevant documents facilitated and published by Mr Hundeyin in mid-July 2022, excerpts of which I presented in my prior two columns on this great matter, is allowed to contest for the highest office in the land is a new low in Nigerian politics. Yes, our politicians are typically not shining stars. And yes, there is no requirement or taste of the Nigerian public for saints.
But there are limits to our tolerance. A president is not just a person. The individual is invested with such overwhelming powers in the constitution on the judgement that they are of sound mind and character. A president is someone citizens look up to with admiration and awe. Even criminals want a president they can admire and respect. When presidents enter a room, we stand up, not because the law says so, but because of their exalted office. A president is thus expected to be beyond reproach.
How is it possible that Nigerian law enforcement agencies, from the Nigerian police, Department of State Services (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), missed the red flags around Mr Tinubu’s candidature? Mr Tinubu is a former senator in the federal legislature and former 2-term governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s richest subnational state, and throughout all this time, no one thought that this was a pertinent matter?
Ordinarily, the NDLEA will not only ask for the US court documents that have come to light, but will request the case files from the myriad American federal law enforcement authorities that investigated Mr Tinubu in the 1990s
The NDLEA, which enforces laws against the cultivation, processing, sale, trafficking and use of hard drugs and is empowered by the NDLEA Act to investigate persons suspected to have dealings in drugs and other related matters, has not said anything on the record about Mr Tinubu’s evidenced drug-trafficking past, nor is one aware of an ongoing investigation. Ordinarily, the NDLEA will not only ask for the US court documents that have come to light, but will request the case files from the myriad American federal law enforcement authorities that investigated Mr Tinubu in the 1990s.
In the highly unlikely scenario that the evidence of Mr Tinubu’s drug-trafficking and money laundering past were not known to the authorities hitherto, how about since mid-July 2022 when Mr Hundeyin published them? Is there one law for the rich and powerful and another for the poor and vulnerable? Imagine as an ordinary Nigerian you had such a past, will you still be walking the streets or in employment, talk less contesting for a public office?
Read also: For the record: Tinubu is a documented drug-trafficker (2)
And yet Mr Tinubu, who has not only served in such highly-placed positions as a federal senator and subnational state governor, is now contesting under the banner of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to be president without so much as whimper from the law enforcement authorities. You would expect that there would have been an investigation, at least. Are the authorities not supposed to conduct background checks on presidential candidates? We know the secret service conducts security checks on ministerial candidates, don’t we? Are these checks not even more pertinent for presidential candidates? Pray tell then how if such a person becomes president, what do you think that person will use the powers of the presidency to do?
Incidentally, Pablo Escobar, the notorious boss of the Colombian Medellin drug trade cartel in the 1980s, had high political aspirations too. Mr Escobar got elected into Colombia’s parliament in 1982, just 6 years after he founded the Medellin cartel. Having made it to the legislature, Mr Escobar almost momentarily began aiming to be president of Colombia as well. We know this because Victoria Eugenia Henao, Mr Escobar’s wife at the time, published it in a 2019 memoir that the Sunday Times of London serialized. Congressman Pablo Escobar, a notorious drug lord that is still adjudged the wealthiest criminal in history with an estimated net worth of US$70 billion in 2022 dollars, wanted to become president. US and Colombian authorities will have none of it.
As enmeshed in the fabric of South American society as druglords are in countries like Mexico and Colombia, they know that running for the highest office of their countries is not something they could safely aspire to. It will not be acceptable to neither their law enforcement agencies, international development partners, their political class nor the people. Mr Escobar has since become a cautionary tale. It cannot be acceptable to Nigerians that a documented drug-trafficker gets to not only contest for our highest office but has a fighting chance at occupying it, with immunity and all.
See link to cache of US court documents as facilitated by Mr Hundeyin in his July 13th 2022 article viz. https://www.scribd.com/document/580028043/Bola-Ahmed-Tinubu-Heroin-Trafficking-Indictment