BOLA TINUBU: Newly-elected Nigerian president was once accused of operating 16 bank accounts, drug trafficking

BOLA TINUBU: Newly-elected Nigerian president was once accused of operating 16 bank accounts, drug trafficking

​Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, February 1, declared 70-year-old Bola Tinubu as the president-elect.

Tinubu who stood on All Progressive Congress (APC) party ticket garnered 8.7 million votes, almost two million more than his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar.

Abubakar of the PDP tallied 6.9 million votes w​​hile Peter Obi of the Labour Party came third with 6.1 million votes.

Tinubu, whose real identity and age have remained a mystery for most Nigerians, becomes the fifth president of the oil-rich west African nation, since the end of the military rule.

Nearly 90 million Nigerians were eligible to vote in Africa’s most populous nation but there was voter apathy with about a quarter turning up to vote.

Who is Bola Tinubu?

Opposition parties have disowned the result of the poll, citing alleged malpractice.

Before diving into national politics for the one-number job in Nigeria, Tinubu served as Lagos governor for two terms, between 1999 and 2007

Lagos is Nigeria’s economic capital.

His reign saw Lagos State register increased revenue, a performance that his supporters hope he will replicate at the national level.

Tinubu attends Chicago State University where he graduated Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

His political journey started in 1992, when he vied for Lagos’s west senatorial post.


After dictator Sani Abacha dissolved the Senate in 1993, Tinubu became an activist, campaigning for the return of democracy.

He was later forced into exile, in 1994, only to return after the death of Abacha.

Abacha’s death triggered the beginning of the transition to the Fourth Republic.

Also referred to as ‘Jagaban’ or ‘City Boy’ by a section of his supporters, Tinubu was once implicated in drug trafficking charges.

The newly elected president has also coated some controversies around him.

In 1993, the FBI froze Tinubu’s bank account. The American government asserted that they had “probable cause” to believe Tinubu’s American bank accounts held the proceeds of heroin dealing.

He would settle with the government to forfeit about $460,000 later that year.

Court documents and later reporting on the case revealed that Tinubu had served as a bagman for two Chicago heroin dealers in the early 1990s.

His real identity, place of birth, age, and how he has managed to wield so much power in Nigerian politics, still remain a mystery to many.

In 2017, he appeared before Nigeria’s Code of Conduct Bureau after the federal government accused him of allegedly operating 16 separate foreign accounts.