By Iyoha John Darlington
News filtering in from Nigeria have it that Kabiru, son of Gov. Aregbesola of Osun State was swooped on by men of the Nigerian Immigration Service at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos while trying to cart away with $177 mn in suitcases to the Emirates. The Osun State helm’s man, we reliably gathered, dashed off to Lagos re the incident following a call from the detainee to his father, an accomplice and accessory after the fact for money laundering. His arrival at the scene changed the tempo of the music after a secret meeting with the Chief Immigration Officer which had the set of facts laundered through press statement from the Government House in Oshogbo, Osun State.
This is one of such cases that has been ongoing in Nigeria since the return to civil democratic rule in 1999. We had a similar case in the past. About two years ago to be precise Gov. Sule Lamido’s son in a similar attempt was arrested by Nigerian security operatives at the airport of Kano, north-west Nigeria while trying to get on board a plane to Saudi Arabia with millions of dollars. The plundering of the nation’s resources by high profile public figures is increasingly becoming a cause for concern.
The funny thing about this is that this is a man who is at the forefront of the campaign slogan for their party – ”change” – that gave them ”victory” at the just concluded general elections in Nigeria. There is a question that keeps agitating me: Is this the kind of ”change” Nigerians are bracing for from the incoming APC-controlled Federal Government? Reports reaching us from Nigeria say that Osun State has not cleared the backlog of salaries owed its workers for the past seven calendar months before collaborating with his child in a botched attempt to use the Emirates as a piggy bank to launder his ill-gotten loot.
We have heard times without number where politicians particularly the so-called agents of ”change” in the All Progressives Congress have indulged or embarked on money laundering operations, business scams, illegal undertakings involving foreign operated businesses. Recently it made news headlines in the USA that Nigeria’s new leader linked to heroin cartel. It is no news Bola Tinubu the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress reputed to be a godfather of the Illinois underworld was the major financier of the President-elect , Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. We have the facts and records linking him to sundry drug cartel while in the United States.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we reliably gathered had to unavoidably forfeit over half a million dollars to the United States Treasury Department after an implication in a money laundering ring and drug-trafficking originating from West Africa to America. This is the man who the chief crusader of corruption and Nigeria’s President-elect allowed to bankroll his presidential campaign. It would be recalled that the same President-elect had three young Nigerians executed for drug trafficking while he ruled over Nigeria as a military Head Of State. He was quoted as saying during an interview that ”I have no regret backdating the law to kill the drug offenders the way I did and whoever wants to make money through drugs must leave Nigeria”.
Well said, ”the Peoples’ General” as he is fondly called but, Buhari must first be summoned for questioning why he allowed Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fund his presidential campaign with money acquired by a criminal synergy of a negative and dubiously profitable kind or else his avowed intention to fight corruption would be nothing but a drunken farce.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.
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