THE Presidential Campaign Councils of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were at each other’s throats yesterday over the $460,000 deducted from the accounts of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the United States, U.S.
Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Chief Spokesman of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, stated that the $460,000 was tax deducted from one of the 10 accounts linked to Tinubu and scoffed at the documents he attributed to the PDP, which are circulating on social media which accuse Tinubu of engaging in drug deals while he lived in the United States.
However, the PDP insisted that Tinubu has much to explain and dismissed what it termed Keyamo’s “spirited attempts” to divert attention away from his boss’s dubious past.
During the 1990s, Tinubu lived in the U.S, Keyamo claimed that $460,000 was deducted from one of the 10 accounts linked to the APC presidential candidate as a tax on investments domiciled in US banks.
During the 1990s, Tinubu lived in the U.S, Keyamo claimed that $460,000 was deducted from one of the 10 accounts linked to the APC presidential candidate as a tax on investments domiciled in US banks. Even though ten accounts were linked to Tinubu by U.S. authorities in the early 1990s, Keyamo stated that $460,000 was deducted from one of those accounts as a tax on investments domiciled in US banks.
Keyamo, speaking on Channels Television’s “Today Politics” program on Wednesday evening, insisted there was no criminal indictment or conviction against Tinubu and accused the opposition PDP of being behind the reincarnation of the controversial court document.
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“His (Tinubu’s) detractors kept bringing up these issues over and over whenever his political profile is rising. Whenever he wants to run for office or any political turn in his life, they will bring up these issues,” Keyamo said.
“The date on the papers flying up and down, the date of certification is 2022, so they are using this to confuse people that these are fresh papers.
”If documents are 40 years old or 100 years old, once you go to court, and apply for certified true copies of those documents, they will give you those documents but they will stamp the day they are giving you those documents.
“This is what our detractors, the PDP, perhaps, that is what they went to the US for when they pretended that they went for high-level engagement. This is part of the high-level engagement they went for.
In the 1980s, the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is said to have investigated Tinubu’s alleged involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering.
A settlement of the case resulted in the forfeiture of $460,000 from one of Tinubu’s accounts.
Keyamo stated that Tinubu was accountable for all ten accounts because some of them were linked to his mother and “relatives.”
In addition, he claimed that Tinubu was implicated in the drug trafficking case of two Nigerians who once resided in separate apartments in the same building where the ex-governor once resided in the United States.
According to him, Asiwaju, went to open an account, but the address he used was already in use by these people.
narcotics are being investigated, he said.
‘Not a deliberate act’
Keyamo added that Tinubu was an employee of Mobil Oil and not a drug cartel treasurer.
He explained that Tinubu invested some funds in U.S. bank accounts and received returns from those investments.
According to Tinubu’s spokesperson, the banks were required to deduct taxes from the investments, but they did not. This was not a “deliberate act.”
“The deposits he made there (in banks) are what bankers called investments; he kept the money there and he was getting interests.
”They (the US government) said he had not paid tax on those interests. That is all. And guess what? The banks are supposed to deduct the tax from source.
“Out of the 10 accounts, it was only one account – the one in Heritage Bank – that they took $460,000 as tax on interest that he benefited on the investment he made in those accounts.
“In fact, all the money in Heritage Bank was not taken; they took only $460,000 as tax,” said Keyamo, who is also the Minister of State, Labour and Employment.
PDP insists that Tinubu has questions to answer regarding forfeiture.
However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, stated in a telephone interview with Newsmen, in response to Keyamo’s allegations that the PDP exhumed documents in a futile attempt to make Tinubu appear guilty of a crime for forfeiting US$460,000 believed to be proceeds of illicit drug trade, that, despite Keyamo’s allegations, Tinubu has never been charged with a crime.
“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t be responding to Keyamo or the APC on this issue but Nigerians deserve to know the truth about people, who are seeking for public office.
“In this case, not just public office but also the highest office in the land. It is a basic principle in law that ‘He who must come to equity must do so with clean hands.’
“What Nigerians are saying is that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu should come clean of these allegations.
“If one may ask Keyamo, who by the way is a lawyer, what does forfeiture mean? A simple dictionary definition of forfeiture means: ‘loss or giving up of something as a penalty for wrongdoing.‘ simply put, You don’t forfeit if no offense was committed.
“Tinubu and the APC should stop trying to make the PDP a scapegoat. They should speak on the issues.
“I’m glad Keyamo did not say PDP manufactured the documents, he said the documents were ‘exhumed,’ which means, they exist.
“Nigerians deserve answers and we hope the APC and its presidential candidate are ready with the answers because these issues will not simply disappear.
“For us in the PDP, we are ready for the task ahead, that is why we have been campaigning, selling our candidates, Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who need little or no introduction.
“Nigerians deserve the best and our candidates stand head above shoulders in comparison to the others; that is why they deserve the votes of Nigerians in February 2023.”
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