UPDATE: Greenspan, Hundeyin file countermotion to Tinubu’s suit seeking to stop FBI from releasing his files
American journalist, Aaron Greenspan, in conjunction with his Nigerian counterpart, David Hundeyin, have filed a counter motion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the lawsuit by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu seeking to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from releasing his alleged “criminal” files.
Greenspan and Hundeyin filed the Memorandum on Monday in opposition to a Motion by Tinubu to Intervene in the suit earlier filed by Greenspan.
News Band had earlier reported that President Tinubu filed an objection to the release of his files by the Federal Investigation Bureau in the District Court for the District of Columbia in the United States.
See the attached document below:
According to the report, the objection followed weeks of denial that there is an impending Freedom of Information (FOI) Act release of his FBI case files.
The current counter motion to Tinubu’s blocking was filed based on the fact that Greenspan sued six United States government agencies over their denial of FOIA requests and subsequent administrative appeals about the Nigerian President newly elected as of May 2023 in a highly controversial election.
The opposition to the Motion to Intervene filed by Bola Ahmed Tinubu states as follows:
“Although a criminal action was filed against the members of the heroin ring, Tinubu was not among the named defendants. This was not for lack of interest in Tinubu’s activities; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Northern Indiana and Northern Illinois appear to have worked together to criminally investigate Tinubu. Yet no formal criminal charges resulted from the investigation(s) and Tinubu returned to his native Nigeria, where he launched a successful career as a politician, eventually becoming Governor of Lagos state—and then this past year, claiming the title of President.
“In his signed affidavit filed in the 1993 civil case, IRS Special Agent Kevin Moss outlined at least six federal crimes committed by Tinubu:
1) Money laundering;
2) Using funds from unlawful activity;
3) Bank fraud;
4) Failure to file tax returns;
5) Lying to federal agents; and
“Tinubu has not denied committing any of these crimes. Yet now, as an alleged criminal running Africa’s most populous nation, he seeks to intervene in this action concerning the activities of the United States Government, in order to cover up evidence of his crimes as the Supreme Court of Nigeria simultaneously, today, evaluates the circumstances surrounding his questionable election. The Motion to Intervene should be denied.”
Greenspan insisted that Tinubu lacks standing to intervene in this action since, unless there is an appeal, this lawsuit represents the final stage of adjudication of Plaintiff’s FOIA requests.
Also, according to him, Tinubu failed to explain why the government Defendants or this Court are unable to adjudicate this action their own, or how and why they have failed to take his purported privacy interests into account.
He stated: “Tinubu does not meet the requirements for intervenors pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. Tinubu has no interest that will be “impaired or impeded as a practical matter absent intervention.”
“Whether documents are produced in this action or not, Tinubu will go on claiming to be President of Nigeria. Tinubu’s “privacy” will not be impeded by a disclosure an ocean away for the simple reason that the records Plaintiff seeks are not private.”
Greenspan noted that he does not seek production of any confidential records, rather, he merely sought the disclosure of public records that Defendant IRS has already claimed were erroneously interpreted.
Further, he maintained that Tinubu’s intervention to prevent disclosure of IRS records are baseless since they are officially public and not considered “return information”, yet unavailable because they were reportedly destroyed decades ago.
“To the extent that Tinubu makes any argument about his privacy, that argument is negated by the overwhelming public interest in his activities now that he claims to be the head of state of a nation of 200 million people: Nigeria.
“In addition, there is a large Nigerian-American community in the United States with an acute interest in the records at issue in this action,” he said.
He noted that Tinubu sacrificed his right to privacy in the United States with regard to his relationship with its federal government when he decided to run for the highest office in Nigeria.
“That he claimed to win further diminished any right he had to privacy, as his history of making false representations thus became that much more material.
“Any “invasion” of privacy would be more than warranted here,” he added.
Greenspan wondered why Tinubu will claim to have a “conditional privacy interest” in aa “as-yet-unknown FOIA materials” without explaining why.
He, therefore, expressed belief that Tinubu’s “conditional privacy interest” stems from “his desire to prevent the public from learning the details of the money laundering operation for which he was never held to account, even while others went to prison”, saying it must be conditioned on more than a literal last-minute, bad-faith argument.
He emphasized on Tinubu’s efforts to prevent the public from learning the details of the alleged crimes he committed when he resided in the United States in the 1990s.
According to the plaintiff, Tinubu “is afraid of what public records might reveal about him”, hence he asked the court not aid him in his attempt to cover up his alleged crimes under the color of law.
He also made mention of the order of the court of Northern District of Illinois which led to the “production of a counterfeit college diploma to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”, wherein Tinubu also attempted to intervene but his “requests for relief were flatly denied”.
“It was revealed that even though Tinubu may have graduated from Chicago State University, the diploma he submitted to INEC was forged,” he stated.
“The timing of Tinubu’s submission is suspicious given the Nigerian Supreme Court’s simultaneous proceedings and should be treated as meritless accordingly,” he urged the court.
He insisted that the FOIA materials concern the federal government’s efforts to understand how Nigerian heroin had infiltrated Chicago, and how drug money was being repatriated back to Nigeria.
To spice up the request, he informed the court how Tinubu “is attempting to silence or kill one of his most persistent and widely-read critics, independent Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin”, who was “granted refugee status in Ghana in 2022”.
Tinubu, he said, attempted extraordinary rendition of Hundeyin from Ghana in August 2023, which led the Ghana Refugee Board to reinforce his refugee status.
The suit in conclusion said: “Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an alleged criminal who allegedly rigged a presidential election now trying to buy time in a desperate attempt to cling to power in Nigeria, which the FOIA materials in this action directly threaten. In likght of the above, Tinubu’s motion should be denied.”
See a copy of the court document attached below: