The Crimes of the Tinubu Family are those of a dynastic political family well-steeped in criminality. Some may say this isn’t a new concept and that the phenomenon has exhibited itself worldwide in countries with weak democratic systems for many years, and they’d be right to do so.
From Uday and Qusay Hussein of Iraq and their father Saddam to Muammar Ghadafi and his sons or even the likes of Ali Bongo, the son of Omar Bongo of the oil-rich state of Gabon, one common theme exists, and that is their misplaced perception of an inalienable right to claim power as theirs by any means necessary. This is accompanied by a belief that a nation’s wealth is their God-given entitlement as they deem themselves to be the sole personal caretakers of a nation’s means of wealth production.
There is beauty in how this story unfolds, for it’s important to have reference points and quotations from historical engagements or utterances to help shape a compelling justification of accusations. An integral fibre that binds this story and propels it into the people’s consciousness consists of simply referring to public statements made by specific individuals that were once political opponents or competitors for egotistical reasons.
It’s safe to say that the Governor of Kaduna, Nasir El Rufai, once said he would never be a running mate to a “drug dealer and one of the most corrupt Nigerians”. However, this statement is rich in hypocrisy, considering Mr El Rufai’s alleged involvement in well-documented land misappropriation deals in the FCT.
Additionally, the persistent political party bed hopper and the man who finds it impossible to remain loyal to anybody or maintain a moral compass that points in one direction for more than a single electoral cycle Femi Fani Kayode, hasn’t been short of utterances where he has exposed Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s well-documented involvement in drug dealing and denounced him openly as being responsible for the slaughter of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
The choice of these two individuals as examples are no coincidence, for they are two of the best examples of how the Tinubu family’s ability to persist as a crime empire has been further enabled by its ability to silence all critics through monetary inducement and promises of positions of power through political appointments, which in Nigerian parlance translates to being granted an “opportunity to chop”.
Most Nigerians with an affinity for reading or carrying out any independent research will already have a good grasp of the rise of Bola Tinubu. But, to avoid trawling over well-worn paths, we’ll proceed with the story about the establishment and maintenance of the criminal enterprise.
Having raised adequate capital through his well-documented involvement in a Chicago-based heroin trafficking gang, Bola Ahmed Tinubu returned to Nigeria to put his largesse to use. This coincides with a period where a joint FBI, DEA and IRS operation had cast its net on the trafficking gang, and Tinubu was feeling the heat.
Nigeria is no different from many nations; it demands some form of personal financial muscle to be able to partake in politics, and Tinubu had come from being a successful peddler of deadly narcotics that no doubt destroyed many lives in inner-city Chicago, a place known for heightened violence, family breakdown, and deprivation.
Bola Tinubu’s upbringing, like many despotic leaders over the centuries, was one of abject deprivation in his hometown of Iragbiji, in present-day Osun State. Born to a family impoverished or blighted by domestic strife or cruelty, he decided to flee to Lagos. He found a way of manoeuvring himself into making an impression on one Abibatu Mogaji and, ultimately, the wider Tinubu family. He was a natural survivor, but historically, what we see with so-called traumatised survivors is that they possess an uncanny appetite for cruelty, absolute self-centeredness, and cunning. Qualities, one may say, can be beneficial in the drug trade and thuggish politics generally.
It is this self-centeredness and pervasive sense of fear of ever having to return to poverty that has formed the foundation of the Bola Tinubu family mantra of teaching his children the art of stealing, monopolising all avenues of revenue streams, and the total domination of the Lagos state levers for wealth generation. As state Governor, Lagos quickly became a personal fiefdom for Tinubu, with many of its sources of revenue generation being newly established or significantly reinvigorated.
With a large population in Lagos and bustling economic activities for indigenous and foreign business interests, it quickly became apparent that taxation needed to be policed better and required huge efficiency improvements concerning collection and administration. This birthed the brainchild of one Dapo Apara, who floated the idea of a computerised revenue collection agency for better revenue collection to the new Governor.
Bola Tinubu liked the idea so much and saw the benefits of being able to boost revenue collection, not as a means of funding improvement to the lives of Lagosians and the state’s decaying infrastructure, but as a means of raising cash that could be siphoned for his gain. Thus began one of the earliest, most profitable and longest-running heists of many to be committed by Bola Tinubu.
This mechanism for large-scale plunder was so efficiently profitable that subsequent Governors owed their political survival to how diligently they facilitated the crime and, ultimately, how agreeable they were to the share Tinubu demanded be siphoned from the significant proceeds for his personal use.
The multi-generational plunder of Lagos is still ongoing, with Alpha Beta consultancy, partly owned by Tinubu, still receiving a commission for tax collection whilst also doubling as a personal slush fund and political “war chest” for Tinubu’s dalliances in the political campaign jungle, a true master at raising campaign funds through illegal means just like his heroin trading profits in the early days.
The Agbero taxation, or what it is, the daily extortion carried out by “Agberos” or “Area Boys” across Lagos, is a significant generator of an unclassed or invisible tax. This revenue stream is not accounted for on state financial ledgers as it’s an informal tax paid for in cash and, based on the latest intel, is subject to a weekly “sharing” cycle. The mechanics of the operation were beamed to the world in an episode of Louis Theroux’s BBC Two documentary titled “Law and Disorder in Lagos“, a very revealing view of the underbelly of MC Oluomo’s managed extortion racket on behalf of the Lagos State Government, money ultimately bound for the Lagos State power structure.
The remittances amount to a figure in the region of $13.5 million a month based on the current parallel currency market exchange rate (US $740) and go mainly to the State House and then on to Tinubu whilst there is an agreed “sharing” mechanism to the power structure of Lagos, from the state police commissioner to the motor park and Local Government Heads.
An informant puts the weekly share of the Epe Local Government chairman as being in the region of N10 Million. This is known as preservation of power payment, where the means of maintaining influence and loyalty over the leading players is paid for by the proceeds of a criminal enterprise of Tinubu’s design.
The exhibition of violence and vote rigging in Epe, Okota, Festac Ikorodu, and Badagry was no coincidence, nor was the conspiracy of INEC staff at many Lagos polling units. It was all paid for by the criminal enterprise and an almost cash-neutral expenditure that didn’t come out of his pocket but, ironically, the pockets of Lagos State taxpayers, formally through legal taxation and informally from those extorted in the markets and the roads. In essence, the violence and intimidation meted out on election day to Lagosians on March 18th 2023, was indirectly paid for by the citizens, thereby helping to preserve a status quo that provides them with no assistance whatsoever.
The Tinubu Family
As time has passed, the Tinubu Children have come of age; unlike most Nigerian parents of good stock and decent moral values, it would appear that the inculcation of those age-old values most of us learned didn’t apply to Tinubu’s children.
The countless hours we all endured listening to our parents scold us for not measuring up to what was required to become upstanding and value-adding honest citizens were evidently exchanged for lessons in criminality, trickery and manoeuvrings.
Folashade Tinubu was “dynastically” bestowed with the Iya loja title by Abibatu Mogaji Bola Tinubu’s adoptive mother. Again, we will see a common theme as this was not based on merit but simply handed down as would be done in a royal family setting. This repugnant hereditary title award process was no more than mere positioning to aid the smooth running and improved visibility of an extortion racket, having placed a trusted gatekeeper in charge.
The “Iya loja” appointment was Tinubu’s means of securing what can best be described as a stealth tax, the multiple levies placed on market traders. Everyone knows markets are the lifeblood of a society and the local economy. Yet, during the recent campaigns for the presidential race, she was instrumental in mandating forced stall closures with threats of expulsion from the markets for traders who did not attend the APC presidential rally and, in some cases, threats of physical violence unless forced participation in political rallies or processions were agreed to. As a result, the markets in Lagos are now a no-go area for opposition to the campaign. This is evident in attacks on Princess Islamiyat Oyefusi, the Labour Party Deputy Governorship Aspirant, in the last elections and other campaigners in Lagos.
Seyi Tinubu, the only male child after Tinubu’s first son’s death, is deemed the natural successor to the Tinubu Political Dynasty. In saner climes, there would be legal grounds for a conflict of interest claim were the state Governor (or any senior politician) in charge of awarding contracts be seen to entrust a monopoly of a state-wide digital/electronic advertising billboards license to his son without due process.
That’s not the case in Lagos; Seyi’s monopoly of this large wealth-generating business remains intact. Only recently, it’s been revealed that Seyi Tinubu, in his thirties, with no known success in his chosen professional field (having drifted between universities in the West, finally earning a Law degree from a highly mediocre institution in the UK common amongst Nigerian elite kids) somehow managed to pay £11 Million in cash for the property earmarked for confiscation by the Nigerian Government following the Kola Aluko $1.5 Billion fiasco. Seyi Tinubu’s 11 Million pounds Mansion in London
It’s safe to say that the Company, Aranda Resources, headed by Seyi, was merely a Special Purpose Vehicle SPV (in Atiku’s voice) for ferrying funds out of the Alpha Beta IGR theft operation mentioned earlier.
This money would have found its way back into the Nigerian public coffers just as the recouped Abacha stolen funds that were returned to Nigeria by various Swiss banks and European Governments. Instead, these monies have been lost to a questionable investment bank and a complicit Government, known to have a history of being intentionally lax at enforcing anti-money laundering measures with an equally notoriously poor oversight of its property laws, almost akin to turning a blind eye to dirty money being invested in their economy via the property market (the UK).
Coincidentally it appears to be a magnet for corrupt Russian oligarchs and African leaders alike and has been exposed in recent documentaries in the UK. Thus, it’s plausible to draw a direct correlation to London being a favourite location for corrupt Nigerian politicians to buy properties. A similar point was revealed in a Guardian newspaper article dated 7 May 2023, detailing how the US state department bureau of Intelligence and Research had provided the UK with a list of compromised Nigerian politicians with UK properties purchased using unexplained sources of wealth.
This is how dynastic criminal political families operate. They grab all wealth-generating opportunities for themselves and dole some out to the concentric rings of sycophants, hatchet men, mobilisers of political thuggery and general enablers of criminality to maintain loyalty and subservience.
We must remember the players within the protection arm (state police) and local government political base who are essential for re-election or at least the election of the kingmaker’s next hand-picked puppet of a state governor. The hand-picked Governors, past criminal records notwithstanding, are essential, as they ensure the vast plundering operation can continue unabated and provide a semblance of continuity to the process. It has been rumoured that Tinubu’s choice of an infinity emblem on his attire offers an insight into his narcissistic claim that his family will run Lagos for many generations.
Seyi is undoubtedly earmarked to be a future Governor of Lagos, and his family has built an elaborate system to make this pipe dream a reality. The entire operation wouldn’t be as vile and possibly border on being excusable if the inhabitants of Lagos benefitted in some material way or markedly improved their quality of life. Instead, they are significantly politically naïve or cowed to challenge the status quo by gaslighting them into the firm belief that Lagos is working. What is working in a state where productive hours are spent in traffic laced with crime? How is Lagos working when Lagosians are now afraid to vote? Lagosians Ronu oooooo
Remi Tinubu ethnic slurs are not new in the political terrain in Nigeria. The RCCG pastor and woman of God has been an accomplice to Bola Tinubu’s crimes for many years. She was responsible for opening joint accounts with one of the wives of another member of the Chicago Heroin trafficking ring.
This shows she has always been a willing participant and, more importantly, a perfect match for her husband, as she is wholly devoid of any scruples whatsoever—a Delta state indigene who takes great joy in verbally attacking the Lagos state Igbo community.
Remi Tinubu, through her husband’s influence, managed to wangle a senatorial seat which had nothing to do with bettering the lives of the inhabitants of her senatorial district but more to do with being close to the centre of power and feeding her over-inflated ego.
It is easy to deduce that, with A first Lady Like Remi Tinubu in Nigeria, there will be no moral justification by the mother of the nation to call on youths to eschew crimes, be dutiful and diligent to the Nigerian government because it will be in contrast to her values and ethos.
Remi Tinubu, like Seyi, has been awarded sole supplier status of what should have been subject to a commercial bidding process. But in her case, it is about the diesel supply to all generators powering Lagos state’s streetlights. In any developed country, this deviation from standard Government procurement policy where anything but participation in competitive tender bids would never have been permitted. But, as it is another opportunity to inflate prices and charge the tax coffers of Lagos state and long-suffering voiceless Lagosians even more than the market rate, it’s just another corrupt business venture to the Tinubu’s.
We now come to the profound pair of daughters; Zainab and Habibat Tinubu. The daughters of Remi Tinubu.These two individuals, who have yet to hold down proper jobs, have bought high-end properties in the United States, having only recently completed their university education and not quite established themselves in their respective professional fields.
The industrial-scale plunder carried out by the family has financed these extravagant outlays of cash to facilitate the purchases. Therefore, Peter Obi’s resonating line that sticks with us all is genuinely justified. When one observes this abuse of public funds by some of the most undeserving individuals in our society, the phrase “Wealth without enterprise” is wholly apt.
They’ll sooner rather than later be allocated their criminal dynastic tasks or be assigned to some illegal means of stealing the nation’s wealth. Zainab and Habibat Tinubu were 25 and 22 years old when they bought properties at 6A, 55 Berry Street, Brooklyn and 10A, 255 Hudson Street, Manhattan, for $2.2m and $2.4m, respectively. As recently sighted, the two have continued to pay thousands of dollars as property tax on these properties in the U.S.
To capture and treat all aspects of the Tinubu crime family undertakings would require more page space but suffice it to say, this is the tip of the iceberg. It is important to note that on top of the extorted funds on the streets from Danfo and Keke Napep drivers, there is also a mountain of formal levies placed on these poor individuals and Lagosians. People were simply trying to make a living in a deteriorating economy by the day. We’ve seen cases of vehicles being seized from citizens for traffic law infractions when a fine would have sufficed as a punitive response, but instead, they’re auctioned off. In some instances, the said vehicles are the sole source of an individual’s people’s income. We are yet to find out where the proceeds of these auctions go, but they are not bound to any charitable causes or community projects.
It is truly pitiful that some Nigerians are either too ignorant to understand the ramifications of this level of theft on their standard of living and the futures being stolen from their children when a 39-year-old spends the equivalent of the annual salary of approximately 28,000 minimum wage earners (N30,000 monthly) on a single house purchase. However, many of those 28,000 workers may still be singing the praises of the Tinubu family as they return home beaten and worn out by another day of being abused by the very system they’re cheering for. This may soon be a nationwide problem, but God forbid we retake our mandate.
Reported by Veritas S.