By Uche Amunike
The Chief Spokesperson for the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, has said, Wednesday, during Channels Television’s Programme, Politics Today, that even though 10 accounts were linked to the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu by the United States authorities in the early 90s, $460,000 was deducted from just one of the accounts as tax on his investments domiciled in American banks.
Recall that there has been a controversy concerning a document that was recently released by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which is said to have investigated Bola Tinubu’s alleged involvement in narcotics and money laundering about 30 years ago.
The case, which ended in a settlement led to the former Lagos State Governor and APC Chieftain, forfeiting $460,000 dollars in one of the accounts linked to him.
According to Keyamo, who is also the who is also the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Bola Tinubu took responsibility for all the 10 accounts because they were also traced to his mother and relatives.
He further stated that the APC Presidential flag bearer was roped in the narcotics case of two Nigerians who once lived in separate flats in the same building where he stayed at a time in the USA. Unfortunately, according to Keyamo, when he opened an account, he used the address that was already used by those people who, by then were being investigated for narcotics.
He clearly stated that Tinubu was working for Mobil Oil at the time, not a treasurer of a drug cartel and maintained that the money deposited by him in bank accounts in the USA were merely investments, from which he got returns.
He reiterated that the banks were supposed to deduct taxes from the investments, but didn’t play their parts, so, it wasn’t a deliberate act on Tinubu’s part.
Hear him: ‘The deposits he made there (in banks) are what bankers called investments; he kept the money there and he was getting interests. They (US government) said he had not paid tax on those interests. That is all and guess what? The banks are supposed to deduct the tax from source.’
‘Out of the 10 accounts, it was only one account – the one in Heritage Bank – that they took $460,000 as tax on interest that he benefited on the investment he made in those accounts.’
‘In fact, all the money in Heritage Bank was not taken; they took only $460,000 as tax,’ said Keyamo.
He averred that there was no criminal indictment or conviction against Bola Tinubu and alleged that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was behind the reincarnation of the controversial court document.
He further stated: ‘His (Tinubu’s) detractors kept bringing up these issues over and over when his political profile is rising, when he wants to run for office or any political turn in his life, they will bring up these issues,’Keyamo said.
‘The date on the papers flying up and down, the date of certification is 2022, so they are using this to confuse people that these are fresh papers. If documents are 40 years old or 100 years old, once you go to court, and apply for certified true copies of those documents, they will give you those documents but they will stamp the day they are giving you those documents.’
‘This is what our detractors, the PDP, perhaps that is what they went to the US for when they pretended that they went for high-level engagement. This is part of the high-level engagement they went for.’