The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has denied authoring a statement on allegations of drug trafficking made against the ruling All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi told our Correspondent that the statement was fake. The said statement had quoted INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye as saying the commission was in talks with United States authorities to get more details on the allegation with a view to determining whether the APC standard bearer may have violated relevant provisions of the Electoral Law 2022 (as amended). In an updated response, Okoye advised the public to discountenance the fake statement.
He said; “A Press Release purported to have been issued by the Commission has been trending online since yesterday Friday 11th November 2022. It claims that the Commission has commenced investigation into a case of criminal forfeiture against one of the Presidential candidates in the forthcoming General Election and is liaising with a Court in the United States of America in pursuit of same to determine possible violation of our guidelines or the Electoral Act 2022.
“We wish to state categorically that the said Press Release did not emanate from the Commission nor is it pursuing the purported course of action. It is the handiwork of mischief makers and utterly fake. “Press Releases from the Commission are uploaded to the INEC Press Corps platform and simultaneously disseminated through our website and official social media handles.
“The public is advised to ignore the Press Release”.
The fake statement which went viral on Saturday evening was titled, “Certified True Copy of Order of Criminal Forfeiture against APC Presidential Candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the United States” and dated November 11, 2022.
it reads; “Our attention has been drawn to the recently released certified true copy of an order of criminal forfeiture granted against Asiwaju Bola Tinubu the presidential flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress by the United States Court of Northern Illinois district dated 23rd July 1993.
“The order borders on issues of criminal forfeiture of funds linked to narcotics smuggling conspiracy and money laundering. We are currently liaising with the Northern Illinois District Court in order to establish more facts about the case before taking a decision.
“We are also studying the judgment in order to determine whether offences which contradict the INEC guidelines and Electoral Act 2022 has been committed. “We endeavour to expedite the process and shall communicate the results of our findings together with our decision to the general public within ten working dates from today’s date”.