Fact Check: Justice Tsammani Asked Nigerians to Forgive Tinubu for His ‘Drug Crime’?

Fact Check: Justice Tsammani Asked Nigerians to Forgive Tinubu for His ‘Drug Crime’?

  • As part of the grounds of their petitions, the opposition had argued that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the time of the presidential election in February 2023, was not qualified to contest the election
  • The opposition based their claim on the grounds that Tinubu “was fined $460,000 for an offence involving dishonesty, namely narcotics trafficking imposed by the US District Court"
  • Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) users claim that judge Haruna Tsammani said President Tinubu should be forgiven in connection with the decades-old drug case in the US; hence Legit.ng fact-checked the viral claim

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FCT, Abuja - Social media posts have been sighted by Legit.ng stating that Justice Haruna Tsammani, the lead justice of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), queried Nigerians on their alleged reluctance to forgive President Bola Tinubu.

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The social media posts (as can be seen here) claim Justice Tsammani questioned why it appears difficult for Nigerians to forgive President Tinubu for his past “drug crimes”.

Tinubu/Bola Tinubu/Latest about Bola Tinubu/Tinubu drug case
There is no evidence that prominent judge Haruna Tsammani asked Nigerians to forgive President Bola Tinubu for a controversial drug case. Photo credits: Funmi Fayomi, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

No evidence Tsammani sought forgiveness for Tinubu

The claim first appeared online in August 2023, a month before the PEPT rejected the opposition's petition to overturn President Tinubu’s February election victory.

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Recall that in documents that are publicly available, the US Department of Justice alleged that from early 1988, accounts opened in Tinubu’s name held the proceeds of sales of white prohibited substances.

While the court confirmed it had cause to believe the money in the bank accounts at the time were the proceeds of drug trafficking, Tinubu and his co-accused denied the allegations, and subsequently, he reached a compromise settlement with authorities and forfeited $460,000. The stigma has been hanging over Tinubu’s neck for years.

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Social media posts about Justice Tsammani allegedly calling for forgiveness for the president ‘for drug crimes’ can also be found here, here, and here. In some cases, it was made into a visual content.

But did the prominent jurist make the statement? Legit.ng checks.


We found no report by credible media outlets that Tsammani made the said comment.

Besides, the posts did not stipulate where and when the judge allegedly made the statement.

Therefore, we rule that the statement credited to Justice Tsammani was cooked up.

Tsammani’s home rumoured to have been attacked

In a related article, Legit.ng reported that a blog, Igbo Times Magazine, posted on its Facebook and Twitter pages that Justice Tsammani’s house was "allegedly set on fire" by thugs.

The post has been shared multiple times by social media users. We investigated the claim.

Source: Legit.ng

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