Stella Dimoko The Plot To Stall Tinubu's Alleged 2023 Presidential Ambition. - Must Read.


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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

The Plot To Stall Tinubu's Alleged 2023 Presidential Ambition. - Must Read.

There are fresh indications that the former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also a prominent national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), may be in for the toughest battle of his political career over his determined bid to actualize his highly-touted 2023 presidential ambition on the platform of his party.

Currently in the eye of the storm, Tinubu, apparently, appears set to do real battle with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Ibrahim Malami, whom THEWILL reliably gathered is the arrowhead of a powerful clique in the presidential villa determined to fight the former Lagos State governor dirty in a well-orchestrated plan to truncate his 2023 presidential bid.
Web of Intrigues

Clearly, Tinubu and his supporters have been battling multiple intense intrigues within the ruling political party aimed at neutralizing his influence in the party that he labored and financed into success with the support of other constituents.

THEWILL authoritatively gathered that part of the plan was the in-house “coup” that sent the former APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, packing and the “hijack” of the party by the group loyal to Malami with members determined to whittle down whatever influence he still has within the party.

A source close to the party’s hierarchy with full knowledge of the power game to stop Tinubu, told THEWILL that the inglorious exit of the immediate past chairman of the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, as well as the treatment meted out to the sacked Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, were part of the orchestrated plan to scuttle the politician’s 2023 presidential ambition.

“The plan has been on for long and is so well-planned to weaken Tinubu’s influence and popularity within the APC. Fowler and Ibrahim Magu were just victims of the power-play,” an insider source who craved anonymity, told THEWILL.

“Fowler was accused of channeling federal funds to Tinubu and the controversial Bourdillon bullion van loaded with raw cash on the eve of the 2019 Presidential election was alleged to have come from him. For Magu, he was accused of over-protecting Tinubu with the help of Vice President Osinbajo, and had to be shoved aside for the Malami group to have their way. That explains the desperation of the AGF to get Magu sacked and replaced with Rasheed Bawa, his brother from Kebbi State, to help seal Tinubu’s fate finally,” the source said.
Hatchet Job

As if those plans were not enough, a criminal rope is now hanging around the neck of the cerebral politician, who holds the traditional title of “Jagaban Borgu” with the EFCC set to probe both his years in and outside government.

Only a few days ago, the new EFCC boss, youthful Bawa, six days after his confirmation at the Senate, took on a case involving Tinubu and which, according to a dependable government source, is “laced with a web of intrigues.”

The source continued: “Remember that it was the same Bawa who, last year, worked on Tinubu’s file at the EFCC. The fact that Tinubu’s case is the major task he’s taking on confirms his hatchet job stance.”

The EFCC had reportedly written to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, to request for copies of the politician’s asset declaration form when he served as governor of Nigeria’s commercial capital.

According to the letter, the anti-graft agency opened an investigation into his past in the last quarter of last year, shortly after the removal of Magu.

Curiously, Bawa signed the letter, reportedly marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322 and dated November 6, 2020, when he was the zonal head of the Commission in Lagos.

The letter, according to an online report said: “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish the commission with the outstanding requested information of Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu.

“This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the EFCC Act 2004.”

A month earlier, in October 2020, Tinubu’s name had appeared in the file of the anti-graft agency through a petition by Dapo Apara, former Managing Director of Alpha Beta Consulting, a Lagos –based tax consultant linked with Tinubu.

The former MD of the tax firm had petitioned the EFCC, accusing Alpha Beta of tax evasion.

Apara, in the writ of summons marked LD/733GCMW/2020LD, alleged that Tinubu runs the company through proxies and gets 10 percent of the taxes collected on behalf of the state.

As the head of the company, the former MD said he began looking into its finances and he made many startling discoveries such as mysterious transfers of over N20bn to various companies.

Apara had also in the petition to the EFCC accused the company of N100 billion fraud but two years after, the EFCC had yet to take action.

In his statement of claim, “the former Alpha Beta boss said Tinubu boasted that the then acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, would protect him.”

Apara alleged that N550million was paid to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 15/5/18, while another N850million payment was made to Ocean Trust Ltd vide payment instruction dated the 14/3/15.

The claimant said N960 million was spent on purchasing HITV’s 300,000,000 shares.

According to him, “Tinubu was furious that he was looking into the company’s finances and this led to his demotion and eventual exit.”

In the petition, he also alleged that the firm was being protected by powerful politicians and that it laundered funds through another firm, Ocean Trust Limited.

The petition by Apara’s lawyer, Adetunji Adegboyega, read in part: “Over the years, the company (Alpha Beta) has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable.”

However, the consultancy firm, Alpha Beta LLP, denied allegations leveled against it and stated that he had diverted about $5m during his time as managing director by inflating a contract, which was worth about $300,000 and then diverted a separate N6bn to personal use.

The firm said it had reported Apara’s alleged fraud to the appropriate authorities but he had refused to show up and rather remained in Dubai.

The firm said Apara’s allegations levelled against Tinubu were specious and diversionary.

Attempt by THEWILL to get confirmation from the Media Head of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, on the status of the petition against Alpha Beta and whether the agency had actually commenced investigation against Tinubu failed, as he would neither answer calls put through to his phone nor reply to text messages.

But a source at the Commission simply said: “Yes, there is a case against the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but I don’t want to comment on it. I am sorry.”

Without pre-empting the case by EFCC against the former Lagos State governor, Tinubu, which borders on criminality, some watchers of political developments in the country believe it might have political colouration.

That Bawa rose promptly to begin this case against Tinubu is not surprising to many because feelers from the probe of Magu showed that part of the reason he was shoved aside was because he allegedly “sat on several petitions against Tinubu.”

THEWILL recalls that a group known as ‘Concerned Nigerians’ petitioned the Commission asking it to investigate the source of the money conveyed in bullion vans to the Bourdillon Lagos residence of Tinubu on the eve of the 2019 presidential election.

The group as reported in the media then had sent the petition following a November 12, 2018 press briefing by Magu that the Commission would investigate Tinubu anytime it receives a petition on him.

Leader of the Group, Deji Adeyanju, had said in the petition: “I have decided to take up your challenge after you called for a petition through your social media account on Twitter.”

The petition read: “The Commission would recall that it was reported all over the news that bullion vans allegedly containing an undisclosed amount of cash were seen entering the home of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election. Tinubu himself admitted to this fact while responding to questions by journalists.

“It is pertinent to note that section 7 (1) (b) of EFCC Establishment Act 2004 gives the Commission the power to investigate properties of any person that appears to the Commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.

“To the best of our knowledge, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a private citizen who ordinarily should not be seen with a convoy of bullion vans.

“The questions begging for answers are: What were bullion vans doing in the house of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu? Who owns the content, believed to be cash in the bullion vans that were seen entering the house of Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the eve of Nigeria’s presidential election? Has the Commission, based on its core mandates, investigated the source of the bullion vans? Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s house now a bank where bullion vans take money?”

Magu, understandably did nothing about the petition, fueling allegations by many Nigerians that he shielded Tinubu during his tenure.

And up till the time a combined team of Department of State Services (DSS) operatives and officers from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) arrested him in July, 2020 and was made to face the Justice Ayo Salami led-Presidential Panel over alleged mismanagement of assets and insubordination, Magu failed to fulfil his pledge that the “Commission would investigate Tinubu anytime it receives a petition to do so.”

Malami had accused Magu of corruption and abuse of office. At the end of the investigation, Magu was shown the exit door.

The opening of investigation into Tinubu’s financial past is definitely attracting attention both from politicians and many other Nigerians who are wondering about the source of his stupendous wealth.

There were also speculations that Fowler’s inability to secure a second term in office had to do with his closeness to Tinubu.

Fowler, a known Tinubu’s ‘boy’ was dragged into FIRS to buoy up the country’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the country. He had done the same as the head of Lagos State Inland Revenue Service with huge success when Tinubu was the governor.

Surprisingly, Fowler who many believe did well, even begged for a second term in office but was denied by President Muhammadu Buhari. Not only that, Fowler was queried by former Chief of Staff to the President, the late Abba Kyari, who accused him of undeclared remittances.

It was gathered that some political leaders within the APC and powerful group in the Presidency believe Tinubu was benefiting financially from Fowler’s position as FIRS boss and urged the President to remove him. The powerful group within the president’s circle particularly believe that Fowler’s position will give Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition the needed funding to crush rivals.

THEWILL further gathered that Fowler in answering a query issued by Kyari implicated Tinubu of some financial benefits from FIRS.

Efforts to confirm this from Fowler proved abortive as he refused to acknowledge calls to his mobile phone.

Many of powerful northern leaders in APC are said to have been pissed with Tinubu’s arrogance and flaunting of his wealth in 2014 during the presidential campaign and believe he must be checked.

Though Tinubu has not openly announced his intention to contest in the presidential election in

2023, his body language and actions of his close associates are pointers to his bid.

A former Minister for Works, Dayo Adeyeye, is leading a campaign for him in the South West.

Also, a government source that talked about the EFCC investigation as “a web of intrigues” explained that since 2015, Tinubu had been operating like an alternative President of the country, incurring the hatred of many as the election of 2023 heats up.

Since 2015, according to the source, Tinubu has continued to wear the title of National Leader of the party when party convention and constitution allocates the position to the President. The party’s Constitution has no such position, which makes it look as if Tinubu is the face of the party, rather than the President.

Aside the EFCC probe, a shock to Tinubu and his group was the manner through which Oshiomhole, a close ally of Tinubu, was removed as the National Chairman of the APC in June last year. The belief was that with Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the APC, Tinubu’s victory in the presidential primary would be easy.

Oshiomhole was sacked during a controversial virtual National Executive Committee meeting of the APC. Majority of the National Working Committee members had opposed the NEC meeting, saying it was wrongly called by Victor Giadom, whom they said was not competent to call the meeting. But President Buhari, however, declared support for the meeting, saying “the law is on the side of Victor Giadom as Acting National Chairman.”

A caretaker committee was subsequently set up led by Yobe State governor, Mai Bala Buni.

Though analysts inferred it was a blow to Tinubu‘s 2023 ambition, both Tinubu and President Buhari said their relationship remained cordial and that the step was taken in good faith to find a way for the party to continue waxing stronger.

Buhari also said that the Caretaker committee was to last for only six months and that it would organize a convention that would replace the sacked executive within the period.

To the surprise of Tinubu and his group within the APC, the tenure of the caretaker committee was not only extended, but it was also saddled with the responsibility of conducting registration/ revalidation of members.

On hearing this, former interim National Chairman of the Party, Chief Bisi Akande, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and former South West Vice Chairman of the Action Congress, Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, went to the Villa to convince President Buhari that there was no need for the exercise. But Buhari was alleged to have turned down their plea, saying the exercise will hold as scheduled.

It was Akande, a close ally of Tinubu, who prepared the membership register that was submitted to INEC during the APC registration in 2014. But observers believe that having another register that will be ‘alien’ to Tinubu and his group is also another way of whittling down his influence in the party.

The registration/revalidation of members brought joy to the camp of the faction of the party in Lagos State led by Fouad Oki. Farouk Oki’s faction which also has a former Legal Adviser of the party, Dr Muiz Banire, in its fold openly expressed support for the exercise and described it as victory for the truth.

Many believe that the registration and revalidation of members was done to weaken Tinubu’s influence in the party. The open criticism that greeted the exercise by Akande, Tinubu and Oshiomhole reinforced this position by the observers.

The open condemnation of the exercise by Akande and Tinubu’s tacit support showed that the group is uncomfortable with the exercise.

The question being asked by political analysts and watchers of political developments is whether Tinubu will be able to swim in the rough waters with no injuries or whether he will succumb to pressure and abandon his presidential ambition.

Speaking on the development, a chieftain of the Pan – Yoruba Socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said: “They said Tinubu is a strategist. I just laugh whenever I hear that. A strategist that can’t see what is happening in APC. You are the principal partner in this merger but you have no constitutional position in the party. They deceived you that they are going to make you chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) but they never set it up deliberately. So, the constitutional bodies of the party you have said no, and yet, he is still thinking that he is something in the party. There was an occasion when Buhari told him that there cannot be two national leaders in the party and that, as President, he is the only national leader. So, if Tinubu continues deceiving himself; that is his problem. You can see (Aremo Olusegun) Osoba now begging the party to call a national caucus meeting when they now know that by doing the membership registration, they are trying to edge them out and it is going to affect them. I have been saying that Tinubu betrayed us and now in his lifetime, he is already receiving his reward. Are the APC people not paying him back? I am not saying this for the first time that Buhari is deceiving him and he is also deceiving Buhari. Let them keep deceiving themselves. He is already receiving the reward for his betrayal in his party.”


  1. Toh it's politics, it has always been a game to them... All of them

    1. I don't know how easy it is but I will take my people with me to form another party. If I did it once, then I can do it again but this time with enough hindsight, experience and mistakes learnt.

  2. Na waoh. So you actually want someone to read this long epistle. Read and summarize for us abeg. Either way, Tinubu will never be Nigerian president.
    Insha-Allah, there'll be no Nigeria for him to lord over.

  3. Lol. Las las, Tinubu might not even contest. He might just be clearing the grounds in readiness for Osinbajo to take over.

  4. APC can never be in government again not after their failure these last few years.
    Nigeria has become a worldwide joke.

  5. Oh well, politicians don't surprise me anymore. For all you know, Tinubu himself may use this as a diversionary tactic to bring in his anointed candidate. Anything is possible

  6. Poli-tricks are played by poli-tricksters. All those whose names appeared above are
    poli-tricksters. It is game on. But finally, God will shock all of them😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏

  7. EFFC can't stop Tinubu, the best they can do is take him to court. He will hire the best lawyers and the case will be in court for decades

  8. I can't wait to see how this plays out.
    Nice and informative write-up.

    However, there is another school of thought which is:

    The EFCC witch hunting is just a strategy to clean Tinubu and rest tongue waggers that he stole government money. That at the end of the day he might just be found guilty of one or two petty charges and made into a saint.

    But whatever the outcome might be, Tinubu or any of his protegee must never become the next president of this country.
    We have seen what kind of power monger and hoarder Tinubu is. Enough of Tinubu.


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