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THE “SAINTS” IN APC  (II)

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– By Elias Osaghae (20-05- 2014 )
As indicated in part one of this write up which was published last week, the object of this exercise is to ensure that some pseudo politicians who have been linked to corrupt practices in the past, do not re-package themselves and take Nigerians for a ride by their demagogic promises to fight corruption, when they come to power again. In order to do this, it is necessary to open the Pandora's box of the profiles of each of these leaders to see how credible they are for the onerous task of fighting corruption effectively. Nigerians must be punctiliously alerted in this 21st century and not allow any wholesale corrupt tendencies of the past to repeat themselves. It is not the name of the political party or whatever it is branded that matters, it is the character behind it and we must begin to look at these characters.
Every Nigerian must stand up and use his/her voting power to block those who had once disappointed the electorates. Those who are known to have looted the tax payers' treasury and were never brought to book because of the diverse corruption in public places. We must henceforth blocked them  I beg to bring in here the wise saying of President Barack Obama of the USA:A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.” An average Nigerian is an ordinary person but that does not mean that you and I should remain passive and let some smart people with dubious ideas continue to lord it over us. It is high time an average Nigerian started doing extraordinary things and bring corruption under control in our country. This philosophical words of the American President have gone a long way to motivate me into what I find myself doing now – compiling write-ups to inform the ordinary Nigerians of the dangers in bringing back to office those who directly or indirectly plunged the nation into the economic quagmire of today, without fear of whose ox is gored.
The Pandora's box of the former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was x-rayed last week and as promised, former Governor Bola Tinubu, one of the present leaders of the All Progressives Congress and the Party's Vice-Presidential hopeful come under focus this week.
Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu was born on March 29, 1952 in the city of Lagos. He attended St. John's Primary School, Aroloya, Lagos and Children's Home School in Ibadan. He went to the United States in 1975 where he claimed to have attended J.Daley College, Illinois, Chicago and Chicago State University. He still claimed to have graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting in 1979. These claims have been subject to controversies over past years.
Tinubu worked for Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins & Sells upon graduation. After returning to Nigeria, Bola Tinubu worked with Mobil Oil Nigeria and became an executive member of the company.
Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu began his political career in 1992, when he was elected to the Nigerian Senate representing the Lagos West constituency in the short-lived Nigerian Third Republic . After the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections were annulled, Tinubu became a founding member of the pro-democracy National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), which mobilized support for the restoration of democracy and recognition of the June 12 results. He went into exile in 1994 and returned to the country in 1998 after the death of military dictator Gen. Sani Abacha.
In the run-up to the 1999 elections, Bola Tinubu was a protégé of Alliance for Democracy (AD) leaders, Abraham Adesanya and Ayo Adebanjo. He won the AD primaries for the Lagos State gubernatorial elections in competition with Funso Williams and Wahab Dosumu, a former Federal Minister of Works and Housing. Bola Tinubu was elected to become the Executive Governor of Lagos State on the ticket of AD, in 1999. Gov. Tinubu, alongside a new Deputy Gov. Femi Pedro won re-election to office in April 2003.
Relations between Bola Tinubu and deputy governor Femi Pedro became increasingly tense after Pedro declared his intention to run for the gubernatorial elections. Femi Pedro competed to become the AC candidate for governor in the 2007 elections, but withdrew his name on the eve of the party nomination. He defected to the Labour Party while still keeping his position as deputy governor. Tinubu's tenure as Lagos State Governor ended on 29 May 2007 when Babatunde Fashola of the Action Congress of Nigeria and a former Chief of Staff to Tinubu took office.
In April 2007, after the elections and before the new governor had taken over, the Federal Government brought Asiwaju Bola Tinubu before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for trial over alleged illegal operation of 16 separate foreign accounts. In January 2009 the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission cleared Bola Tinubu and governors James Ibori of Delta State and  Obong Victor Attah of Akwa Ibom State of charges of conspiracy, money laundering, abuse of office and official corruption in relation to a sale of V-mobile network shares in 2004. In September 2009 however there were reports that the British Metropolitan Police were investigating a transaction in which the Lagos State government made an investment in Econet (now Zain), and the former governor was fingered as the arrowhead to the whole deal. Bola Tinubu said the transaction was straightforward and profitable to the state, with no intermediaries involved. The Federal Government rejected a request by Britain to release evidence needed for further investigation and prosecution of the three Nigerian ex-governors Tinubu, Ibori and Attah in British court.
In 2011, the Code of Conduct Bureau served some summons on Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu to appear before it on September 21, 2011 on allegations that he contravened the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act by operating several foreign bank accounts, between 1999 and 2007. Some of the foreign bank accounts details include:
Name of Bank: First Heritage Bank, Country Club Hills, Illinois, USA.
Account Name: Bola Tinubu
Account No: 263226700.
Name of Bank:Citibank NA New York, USA
Account Name: Bola Tinubu & Compass Finance and Investment Company Ltd.
Account Nos: 39483134, 39483396, 4650279566, 00400220, 39936404, 39936383.
Name of Bank:Citibank International New-York
Account Name-Bola Tinubu
Account No-52050-89451952 and 52050-89451953
Name of Bank- HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London, WIW 6QJ.
Account Name-Sen. Bola Tinubu
Account No-71253670
SORT Code-40-03-15
Name of Bank- HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street, London, WIW 6QJ.
Account Name-Sen. Bola Oluremi Tinubu
Account No-71253670
SORT Code-40-03-15
Name of Bank- HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street, London, WIW 6OJ.
Account Name-Sen. Bola Tinubu
Money Market
Account No-04320002DN.
Name of Bank- HSBC, 177 Great Portland Street London, WIW 6OJ.
Account - Tinubu Habitat Oyindamola (Miss)
Account No. - 1320960111
Name of Bank - HSBC 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J
Account Name- Tinubu Zainab Abisola (Miss)
Account No. - 172447101
Name of Bank - HSBC 177 Great Portland Street London WIW 60J
Account Name- Tinubu Oluremi Shade
Account No. - 1916667988
Name of Bank - HSBC 177 Great Portland Street London
WIW 60J
Account Name- Oluremi Shade Tinubu
Account No. – 41421522.
In a seven-paragraph affidavit supporting the initial charge, deposed to by Ikechi Iwuagwu, a Deputy Director in the Conduct Bureau, the prosecution claimed;
(I) That on 4th of March, 2003, before the expiration of the first term in office of Governor Bola Tinubu, an asset declaration form CCB-1 was sent to the accused person as a public officer.
(ii) That the accused person declared his assets and liabilities in the said form and returned the form to our office on 6th January, 2004. A copy of the said form is hereby attached and marked as Exhibit “A”
(iii) That all the assets declared by the accused person are as indicated in the assets declaration from CCB-1
(iv) That the accused person did not declare any other things/assets or the operation of several foreign bank accounts in the said assets declaration form CCB-1submitted by the accused person marked as Exhibit A.
Besides operating the above numerous foreign bank accounts, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu is also alleged to be involved in the following abuses of office while Governor of Lagos State:
* Mr. Ahmed Bola Tinubu is being fingered as the lynch-pin of an alliance of destructive Governors who misappropriated public funds totaling over $140 Million to acquire ownership of private Global Satellite Mobile, GSM Telephony Company. Tinubu was said to have returned N50 Billion to the Economic and Financial crime Commission, EFCC being part of monies he stole from the coffers of Lagos State while serving as Governor from1999 to 2003.
** According to findings by a group known as The Lagos Progressives Movement, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu is alleged to be the top landlord in Lagos State by the numbers of properties corruptly acquired by him. Read what this group claims: “ We, the Lagos Progressives Movement once again wish to update fellow Nigerians on line of the various land scams perpetuated by Former Governor Bola Tinubu and now aided and covered up by Governor Babatunde Fashola. The facts stated below are true and verifiable. We have gone further to quote real names of collaborators and addresses of the properties. Tinubu is the number one landlord in Lagos and has turned Lagos land worth trillions of naira into his personal possession to be used freely or given away unaccounted for. Even after he left office, Tinubu still continues to steal Lagos land under the watch of Fashola.
These brazen acts of corruption are with the active collaboration of select few public officers who are obscenely wealthy at the expense of Lagos tax payers. Most notable are Gbenga Ashafa-formerly executive secretary and now Permanent Secretary, Land’s Bureau since 2001; Mrs Awofisayo-formerly Permanent Secretary and now Special Adviser, New Town Development Authority (NTDA), and a relation of Bola Tinubu from Iragbiji, Osun state who has been in charge of NTDA since 1999; Hakeem Muri-Okunola-PA to former Gov Tinubu and now Executive Secretary, Land’s Bureau; Mrs Nike Animashaun-Director, Land Services and known to be close to Bola Tinubu and Tunji Olowolafe. These people are arguably the wealthiest unelected public servants ever in the history of Lagos state. They are major wheelers and dealers of prime land. We mentioned in our earlier publication that the Land’s Bureau at Alausa stinks of corruption. Listed below are some of the known properties:
1. 4 Oyinkan Abayomi (formerly Queens) Drive, Ikoyi. A 5 bedroom detached house on 1 acre of Land which was a Lagos State Governor’s guest house since 1979 now belongs to Bola Tinubu. The C of O was signed and released to him by Fashola in 2007 shortly after he assumed office. The property is valued at N450million
2. Tinubu’s residence at 26 Bourdillon road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as Oando Plc guest house. Later, he purportedly bought it from Oando, and used public fund to rebuild and renovate it. Recently, the Lagos state government bought the property and paid undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Bill he signed to law shortly before he left office in 2007. The property is worth over N600million
3. The annex of the Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja was bought by the State Government in 2006 for N450million purportedly to protect the main house from security breach. Shortly after he left office, the property was transferred to him under the pension plan he signed into law before he left office.
4. The 250 hectare land valued at about N35billion strategically located at the Ajah junction on Lekki Road which was initially meant for a General Hospital for the people of Eti-Osa local government was stolen by Tinubu and handed over to Trojan Estate Ltd- a company owned by Deji and Wale Tinubu to develop as Royal Garden housing estate at the expense of the tax payers of Lagos
5. The 1,000 hectares of land valued at about N75billion located at Lakowe near Abijo at Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to LCC which is part owned by Tinubu and Fashola and being developed as golf course and housing estate by Assets and Resource Management Ltd(ARM) as ADIVA project
6. The prime land of 157 Hectares with 2.5km of Atlantic beachfront valued at about N10billion and stolen by Tinubu from the communities of Siriwon, Igbekodo, Apakin, etc in Ibeju-Lekki LG and given to Ibukun Fakeye-his crony to build a golf course and luxury villa with little or no compensation to the villagers. In addition, Tinubu paid $20million (N3billion) out of public treasury to Ibukun Fakeye to commence the project in late 2006. Fashola has since released additional funding for this project which is not owned by the state government.
7. The 14 Hectares Parkview Ikoyi Estate foreshore land reclaimed by Lagos State Government is now owned by Bola Tinubu.
8. While in office, he allocated to himself the former Strabag yard beside the Lagos state secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja. The property is now being developed into a shopping mall as big as the Palms in Lekki. This is public property brazenly stolen and now owned by Tinubu aided by Fashola
9. Also the choice property at Lekki-Epe road on which he built and owns the multi-billion naira Oriental Hotel and the extension of multi-storey car park beside it. Also the multi-level recreation centre by Mobil in Oniru Estate on Lekki-Epe road jointly owned with ARM and Tunji Olowolafe. All these assets valued at over N25billion were obtained without paying a kobo to the Lagos State Government.
10. Tinubu converted all the plots of land where Lagos Polytechnic was located at Ikosi near the old toll gate. He chased away the polytechnic in 2006 and went ahead to locate the choice plots to himself, his cronies and political associates. The headquarter of Television Continental (TVC) which is owned by him is located there. He deprived the youths of Lagos of decent education because of his greed.
11. Tinubu’s wife Remi Tinubu built the massive New Era Foundation youth camp at the junction of Eleko off the Lekki-Epe express road with Lagos state funds and has now converted it to personal use
12. Tinubu also owns the Fara park estate and the Beach wood estate both in Lekki
13. The Critical care unit at the LASUTH in Ikeja built and equipped with state funds is now owned personally by Tinubu. He has put one Dr Sikiru Tinubu (a supposed cousin of his) to run the outfit. It is run as a private unit and the proceeds are pocketed by the duo. The unit charges its users exorbitantly and most Lagosians can hardly afford to pay its high charges. Much of the revenue is derived from fees paid by the state govt for patients referred there by its General Hospitals.
14. Several prominent Nigerians in the judiciary, police, INEC, and other sensitive agencies have obtained prime land from former Gov Tinubu and Gov Fashola over the years without paying a kobo. Many of them had turned around to sell the land to third parties at substantial profit.
Many top officials in the police, INEC and the judiciary who participated in the 2003 and 2007 elections and tribunals in states where Tinubu has interest were compromised with parcels of free prime Lagos land and cash. If the Lagos State Land’s Bureau could publish the names and identities of beneficiaries of land allotees from year 2000 to date, the scandal that will result is better imagined. Gbenga Ashafa and Mrs Awofisayo are the conduit through which these acts are being perpetuated. Both are also personally involved in various dubious land transactions on their own
Prime land and properties have been used to pay off public officials who are personally close to Tinubu and Fashola for ‘job well done’ or for being privy to sensitive information:
(a) Dele Alake, former commissioner for Information and Strategy was sold a whole house on Alexander road, ikoyi where he lived as official quarters at a giveaway price.
(b) Rauf Aregbesola, AC Osun State governorship candidate and former commissioner and Muiz Banire, still a serving commissioner got detached houses at Ladoke Akintola st, GRA Ikeja for the “good job” while serving under Tinubu.
(c) Yemi Cardoso and Wale Edun both former commissioners were sold houses on Iru close, and other location in old Ikoyi at giveaway prices by Tinubu. The list is endless.

We thank the numerous members of the public who have responded with mails of commendations, moral and financial support. We want more of this from you and feel free to contact us by email lagosprogressives@yahoo.com. And those who think they can intimidate us with their scare tactics, they have failed woefully”.
The Lagos Progressives Movement. lagosprogresives@yahoo.com

*** The accountant turned politician has also been linked to many properties outside the shores of this country, most especially in neighbouring Ghana . This is making many to wonder if the former director of Mobil Producing Nigeria is getting money from other sources other than politics.

**** Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu is also alleged to own First Nation Airways (formerly Bellview Airline). ASHIWAJU .COM website has this report: “ First Nation Airways (formerly Bellview Airline), which sources alleged the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, bought for $30 million has commenced operation with its first flight plying the Lagos/Abuja route. Wishing them safe trip all the way. But come to think of it, this is a clear indication that the...quickest and cheapest means to make money in Nigeria is through politics. If a former governor can buy an airline company for $30 million and still have enough cash to refurbish/resuscitate the firm, it goes a long way to show why people would stop at nothing to attain political office in Nigeria. I even heard another former governor, from the South-South region, is the owner (biggest shareholder) in Arik Air. Nigeria is really bleeding and it’s only a matter of time before politicians suck the country dry... Oh no, my country Nigeria is indeed at the mercy of politicians”. The online edition of Nigeria News, published on November 15, 2011 corroborated this allegation by its report: “Former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has bought Bellview Airlines which he renamed First Nation Airline.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has put in place a good team that would make the airline business a success. Congrats Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”

*****The Economic and Financial Crime Commission reopened investigations of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2011 when it alleged that the former Lagos State governor sold five of his houses in USA, suspected to have been purchased with monies stolen when he was in public office. Two of the houses were located at Limestone Crescent and Hillmeade Station Hill in Maryland, USA.

Some national and international media's expositions have it that Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the richest politician in Africa, at the expense of millions of fellow country men and women wallowing in poverty. Even in Lagos which he possessed, some slums are eye-sore and degrading for human habitation.

Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has also weathered several other storms including questions about his academic credentials, allegations of drug dealing while in USA and financial misappropriation, had always cried political victimization and harassment each time the anti-graft agencies investigated him. He had succeeded in beating back all attempts to bring him to book, even when he voluntarily returned N50 Billion to the Economic and Financial crime Commission, EFCC being part of monies he stole from the coffers of Lagos State while serving as Governor from1999 to 2003, he was still left off the hook. Nigerians know why he has been able to meander around the anti-graft agencies but Nigerians cannot vouch for his innocency. The pertinent questions left to us here are: A. Is this the kind of man Nigerians should trust to fight and eradicate corruption? B. Do Nigerians want to sell their consciences by allowing this man to possess the nation and make generations unborn pay the price? C. Is there any significant developmental impact that Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu and political Party can truly make that can surpass the efforts of the present administration? My answers to these are NO! NO!! NO!!!

WATCH OUT FOR ANOTHER OF THEM NEXT WEEK.
Elias Osaghae writes from Toronto, Canada. via osaghae.pastorelias@gmail.com

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