Tunde Sabiu Yusuf, a nephew and personal secretary to former President Muhammadu Buhari, has been a constant presence in the Nigerian political landscape, often shrouded in both mystery and controversy.
A new report by Jim Obaze, the special investigator on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and related entities to President Bola Tinubu alleged the decision to redesign the new currency notes was suggested to Godwin Emefiele, former CBN Governor by Yusuf during his visit to the Presidential Villa in September 2022.
It was gathered that the naira redesign policy was sold to Buhari at the instance of Yusuf and that the initiative was done without the approval of the board of the CBN.
While his official role as personal secretary to former president Buhari is known, whispers of his influence and personal life have swirled for years.
Here are five unknown facts about Yusuf
Born in 1985, He is renowned for being the nephew of former president Buhari. His familial connection to the former president stems from his lineage, being the son of Buhari’s niece and the younger sister to Mamman Daura, who is regarded as the president’s closest confidant.
Yusuf was named after the Late Babatunde ‘Tunde’ Abdulbaki Idiagbon, who was a significant figure in the history of Nigeria and served as the chief of staff at Supreme Headquarters during the military regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari from 1983 to 1985. This connection to Idiagbon, known for his integrity and loyalty to President Buhari, further solidified Tunde Sabiu’s ties to the Buhari family.
His educational journey began at Bayajidda Primary School in Daura, where he received his early education. He continued his secondary education at Teachers College, Daura, laying the groundwork for his academic pursuits.
Yusuf pursued higher education at Bayero University in Kano, where he delved into his studies, focusing on a field that remains undisclosed. Following his academic pursuits, he completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program in Kaduna State.
In his professional life, Yusuf rose to prominence when he was appointed as the personal assistant to Buhari.
This appointment raised some controversy due to its familial ties and proximity to the former president.
However, his capabilities and character were acknowledged by notable figures like former president Buhari and President Bola Tinubu, who praised him for his integrity and trustworthiness.
In a personal letter to Yusuf on his wedding in 2017, Tinubu said “You have come a long way in just a few years. Those of us who have witnessed your growth as a man of character and integrity cannot help but be touched with a sense of pride in the path towards maturation that you have taken”.
He became a key figure in former president Buhari’s inner circle, leveraging his position to aid in administrative tasks, coordinating schedules, and serving as a liaison between Buhari and various stakeholders.
While information regarding Yusuf’s private life remains relatively guarded, it’s known that he follows the Muslim faith and maintains a discreet personal profile.
Last April, SaharaReporters alleged Yusuf secured a form of diplomatic immunity from prosecution through his appointment to the National Intelligence Agency.
“To ensure he doesn’t get arrested by the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), Tunde Idiagbon, as he’s popularly known has secured diplomatic immunity by his irregular appoint into Nigeria’s intelligence agency known as NIA and he’s already been transferred to the United Kingdom as his first foreign posting to manage his loot,” a source in the Presidency told SaharaReporters.
The media outfit also alleged Yusuf spent $100 million to help Kano-born oil billionaire Auwalu Rano, the executive chairman and CEO of holding company A. A. Rano Group, start Rano Air.