A petition urging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate a former Governor of Lagos, and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has been signed by 10,000 signatures in just one day.
The petition has broken record as no political petition on Nigeria has reached such numbers in so short a period of time.
Specifically, the petition is calling on the EFCC to investigate Bola Tinubu for contravening the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011, by having bullion vans ferry alleged large sums of money into his house on the eve of the 2019 Presidential election.
The Street Reporters Newspaper recall that on the eve of the 2019 Presidential elections, drone imagery showed bullion vans ferrying suspected monies into Mr. Tinubu’s Bourdilon residence, in Lagos State.
The next day, in an interview with Channel Television’s Seun Okinbaloye, Mr. Tinubu was asked “the allegations are that those bullion vans carry money or ballots”, before he could finish asking his question, Mr. Tinubu interjected and said “Is it my money or government money? I don’t work for government…even if I have money to spend in my premises, what’s your headache?”
However, the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (and the amendment to the Act in 2012) makes it a crime for any individual to accept or make any cash payment that exceeds ₦5 million.
Yet, 18 months after the incident, Mr. Tinubu has not been investigated by the EFCC, which has tried others for lesser malfeasance.
The petition was started by Reno Omokri, a bestselling author and activist, seeks to compel the EFCC to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities.
Omokri, a Gospeller, Deep Thinker and #1 Bestselling Author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller.
He is also the Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.
By virtue of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act (2004), the law mandates the EFCC to combat financial and economic crimes in the country.
The Commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes and is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes but refused to investigate the allegations against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The former Senator is believed to be nursing a presidential ambition in 2023.
Hoever, in July 2019, the EFCC received a petition to investigate the source of money conveyed in bullion vans to the home of the APC National Leader Bola Tinubu on the eve of the 2019 presidential election.
The convener of Concerned Nigerians Deji Adeyanju submitted the petition to the EFCC, urging to investigate Tinubu on Friday.
The former EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu had in 2018 challenged Nigerian to write a petition against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and see if he won’t act on it.
Nevertheless, the EFCC, under Mr Magu failed to act on the Deji Adeyanju’s petition, and when asked at a media briefing in 2019 if he was probing the allegations against Tinubu he declined comment.
But shortly after Magu’s arrest and detention, some protesters took to the streets of Abuja to demand the arrest of Tinubu over two bullion vans, believed to be conveying cash at his residence on the eve of the 2019 general election.
It was gathered that though two petitions were written against Tinubu on the bullion vans, Magu was instructed to go ahead with his investigation and he set up two teams to probe the two petitions.
“He was instructed to go ahead with the two petitions and he actually set up two teams to investigate it. The outcome of the investigation is what he has failed to reveal.
“I want to believe with Magu’s exit, the new EFCC chairman will continue from where he stopped and I won’t be surprised if the bullion vans petitions are revisited.
“Nigerians want to know and the administration wants to prove a point that it is not selective in its anti-graft war”, a source told a media group.
When contacted, a close associate of Tinubu said they believe that the protest in Abuja on the bullion vans was sponsored by some individuals to embarrass Tinubu. He, however, said they didn’t know those behind it.
On the bullion vans allegations, he said: “Asiwaju has stated his position that he is no longer in government and he has not received any contract from the government in the last five years. So, that settles the issue.”
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