Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the February 25 presidential election, has repeated his position that Bola Tinubu’s election as Nigeria’s president is both illegal and unconstitutional. Atiku believes Tinubu should be removed from power in order to return the country’s political environment to integrity.
Atiku delivered his final address in support of his petition to overturn Tinubu’s victory, arguing that Tinubu’s admission and confirmation by his witness of forfeiting $460,000 to the American government due to narcotics trafficking and money laundering offenses disqualifies him from running for Nigeria’s presidency.
Atiku dismissed Tinubu’s claim that the forfeiture of the money was part of a civil court action, contending that the criminal forfeiture was executed by a United States Court based on Tinubu’s indictment. The former Vice President emphasized that the distinction between civil and criminal forfeiture, as well as the timeline of the offense, were irrelevant, as both types of forfeiture are linked to criminal activities.
In the final address, endorsed by Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche, SAN, it was pointed out that none of the respondents contested or disputed the forfeiture of $460,000 by Tinubu to the United States Government for narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Atiku’s legal team also highlighted the admission by Tinubu’s witness, Senator Bamidele Opeyemi, that the American court proceedings directly involved Tinubu.
The address emphasized that the term “forfeiture” implies the divestiture of property without compensation and is linked to the commission of a crime. Atiku maintained that the evidence presented in the United States District Court supported the claim that Tinubu’s funds were proceeds from illegal activities, making him ineligible to contest for the Nigerian Presidency.