Joe Igbokwe, the All Progressives Congress chieftain in Lagos State, says bullion vans are not only used by banks but can be hired by private persons to move “private money”.
He stated this in defence of the presence of bullion vans at the Bourdillon’s residence of the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, on the eve of the presidential elections in February 2019.
Igbokwe, a former spokesman for APC in Lagos and a current aide to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also said 69-year-old Tinubu is physically fit to occupy the office of the President in 2023.
The Anambra-born politician said he would vote for Tinubu, an ex-governor of Lagos between 1999 and 2007, if he emerges the flagbearer of the ruling party in the forthcoming general elections.
Viral pictures on the eve of the 2019 presidential election had shown two cash-laden bullion vans driving into Tinubu’s Bourdillon residence in Lagos.
Asked about the cash-laden bullion vans episode, Igbokwe said, “Bullion van is not peculiar to banks, it is not meant for the banks; people, companies use bullion vans to take money. If you hire them, it is not only cash that they take, they can carry gold, they can carry so many things, anything that is valuable they can carry, you pay.
“So, it is not peculiar to carrying money from banks only, you can carry private money, I have seen people who use bullion van to take private money. So, that one cannot stand.”
“These things will come up but we will crush it. When we get to the bridge, we will cross it and we won’t look back. We will defeat these things when they come because they must come,” Igbokwe said on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ monitored by The PUNCH.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that Kehinde Bamigbetan, co-Founder of Grassroots Network for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also said there was nothing wrong with the presence of bullion vans at the Bourdillon’s residence of the APC leader in 2019, noting that some circumstances warrant the movement of cash during electioneering.
The bullion vans episode had attracted public criticism with many Nigerians calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to probe the ex-Lagos governor but the then acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, had refused to answer a question regarding a petition submitted against Tinubu for alleged money laundering.
Tinubu, now a 2023 presidential hopeful, had stated during an interview that the money belonged to him and he was free to distribute it to his supporters since he was not a government official.
Since he declared his intention to run for President earlier in January, many Nigerians have been perusing the educational qualifications and health status of Tinubu while his staunch supporters continue to defend the APC leader.