Home » Tinubu Cleared of Indictment in Forfeiture Case, Bamidele Informs Tribunal

Tinubu Cleared of Indictment in Forfeiture Case, Bamidele Informs Tribunal

by Olufemi Awoyinka
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu 2 1

During the proceedings of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, Senate Majority Leader Michael Bamidele clarified that President Bola Tinubu faced no criminal charges in any United States court.

Bamidele, who appeared as the sole witness, emphasized that the $460,000 forfeiture order issued against the President by an American court pertained to a civil matter and could not be equated to criminal charges.

He further explained that the absence of a conviction and sentence against Tinubu, as mandated by law, meant that criminal charges could not be pursued.

The witness also informed the court that the recorded results of the All Progressives Congress in Kano State during the February 25 presidential election showed a shortfall of 10,292 votes for Tinubu.

President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and their political party, the All Progressives Congress, concluded their defense in response to the joint petition filed by the Labour Party and its candidate, Peter Obi.

After presenting various documents and calling a witness to support their counter-arguments against the petitioners’ claims, the respondents, represented by their legal teams led by Wole Olanipekun, SAN (for Tinubu and Shettima), and Lateef Fagbemi, SAN (for the APC), closed their defense.

Despite objections from the petitioners, the five-member panel of the court, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, admitted the documents as evidence and marked them as exhibits.

The court granted the respondents 10 days to submit their final written addresses, while the petitioner was given seven days to respond, followed by five days for a reply on points of law.

Justice Tsammani informed the parties that the date for the adoption of the final written addresses would be communicated later.

During cross-examination by the APC’s counsel, Fagbemi, SAN, Bamidele stated that Obi’s name was not included in the membership list of the Labour Party submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Several other documents were tendered and accepted as evidence during the proceedings, including a letter from the Nigeria Police to the United States Embassy dated February 3, 2003, a letter from the United States Embassy to the Nigeria Police dated February 4, 2003, as well as US visas and immigration documents spanning from 2011 to 2021.

Under cross-examination by Fagbemi, SAN, Bamidele affirmed that the President had not been charged with any criminal offense in any American court.

This clarification addressed the widely circulated court affidavit from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, regarding civil forfeiture proceedings against Tinubu related to $460,000.

The witness further emphasized that “there can’t be a conviction without a charge, arraignment, and defense.”

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