Seyi Tinubu is arguably Nigeria’s most influential young person. There are several reasons for this influence.
The most obvious one is the fact that Seyi’s father, Bola Tinubu, is the president of Africa’s most populous country.
Seyi is the President’s oldest surviving son. He is also the most visible of his six children.
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The younger Tinubu has become the go-to person for anything about Aso Rock because of his unrestricted access to the President.
Seyi has accomplished success for himself, despite the influence of his father. He serves as the CEO of Loatsad Promomedia Ltd., a renowned advertising agency.
The 38-year old Seyi has taken on the role of a power broker. Seyi, who was still in secondary school when his father became Lagos State Governor in 1999, wields more power than some current appointed and elected authorities in Nigeria.
Indeed, this is not the first time we are witnessing the son of a Nigerian president throwing his weight around; there was once an Ibrahim Abacha in the Abacha days.
Seyi Tinubu has been somewhat of a controversial personality. Over the years, he has wittingly and unwittingly been the focus of some cause célèbres.
In this article, we highlight some instances where Seyi Tinubu, the first surviving son of President Bola Tinubu, was in the news for unsavoury reasons.
Baby Mama Drama
In December 2021, rumours emeged that a socialite, Freda Francis, was expecting a child by Seyi. This would be her second child for the married Seyi.
Freda and Seyi welcomed a child together about two months after Seyi’s wife, Layal, gave birth to their first child.
Francis, the CEO of Oasis Med Spa, who had previously dated singer Nyanya, gave birth to a baby for Seyi Tinubu in 2017.
A blog reported that Seyi’s wife, Layal, unfollowed and blocked him on Instagram and left their home after the story became a sensation.
Indeed, a search on Layal’s Instagram page revealed that she has deleted all the photos she took with her husband. She only had her photos and babies photos on her page.
Although Seyi described the story as false, none of his photos were on his wife’s page. He also refuted the claims that his wife moved out of the house when she made the discovery about him and his baby mama.
Ultimately, the story about Freda Francis pregnancy turned out to be unfounded.
Seyi and his wife got married in 2016 in a lavish ceremony in Italy in 2016, and they have remained married ever since. They are blessed with two children.
Acquisition of $10.8 million UK Mansion
In May 2023, Bloomberg reported that Seyi Tinubu had acquired a London mansion.
The mansion was the subject of a corruption investigation by the Nigerian government. There were plans to confiscate the residence over an alleged $1.6 billion oil-trading fraud linked to Nigerian businessman, Kolawole Aluko. However, through a foreclosure, a lender had seized ownership of the home from Aluko.
Documents later showed that Seyi Tinubu through his offshore company, Aranda Overseas Corp, paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the property in North London in late 2017.
The private three-floor mansion in St. John’s Wood — a district favoured by American bankers — is equipped with an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates and a gym.
Flies presidential jet to watch polo
Seyi Tinubu is a polo enthusiast and is the patron of the STL Polo Team in Lagos.
On Sunday 8 of October, 2023, Seyi Tinubu was flown to Kano in a presidential jet to watch the finals of the Kano International Polo Tournament.
The presidential jet conveying Seyi Tinubu and his friends landed in Kano around midday.
Some officials of the presidency, the Kano State government and the Kano Polo Club received him at the airport.
From the airport, he was chauffeured to the Usman Dantata Polo Ground under heavy security manned by gun-wielding detachments of State Security Service and Nigeria Police Force.
After the final match, the waiting presidential jet flew Seyi Tinubu and his friends back to Abuja, the nation’s capital, where he currently resides.
The use of the presidential aircraft for a private event to satisfy his personal passion immediately sparked public outrage and condemnation. The action was considered by many as an abuse of public asset.
Critics argued that the president’s son is not a government official, and so he is not authorized to use a presidential jet, especially when he is not on an official government assignment.
The critics were also of the opinion that he should have used one of private jets owned by his father, including a Global Express XRS which his father allegedly acquired for $50 million.
Alleged Infidelity With Wife Of Presidential Aspirant
In late June 2023, allegation emerged that Seyi was involved in an illicit affair with Elizabeth Jack-Rich, wife of Tein Jack-Rich, a former presidential aspirant on the platform of APC.
However, the accusation was debunked by the Asiwaju Mandate Group (AMG). According to a statement by the group, the allegation was “jaundiced, deceitful, and baseless”.
The group said the allegation of infidelity was “inconsistent with Seyi’s personality as a fervent Christian”.
According to the group, the allegations which was “unfounded and destined for the dustbin of human memory” was the handiwork of a certain Jackson Ude.
Jack Ude, a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan had accused Jack-Rich of allowing his wife, “Elizabeth, to have a sexual relationship with Seyi Tinubu, the son of President Bola Tinubu.”
The family of Jack-Rich also asked the public to disregard the report of infidelity.
NANS Election Interference
On November 29, 2023, disturbing reports emerged revealing heavy gunshots in Abuja. It was at the venue of the convention of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
Videos depicted the chaotic scene, with students sustaining injuries from clashes between rival factions during the election of key officials.
The mayhem was triggered by allegations that Seyi Tinubu disbursed enormous sums of money to influence the election process.
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Students’ leaders claim that Seyi allegedly provided millions of naira to finance security personnel and mobilize individuals. The intention was to sabotage the NANS national convention. The aim, according to reports, is to secure victory for Seyi’s preferred candidate.
Aspirants for senate presidency of the NANS cautioned Seyi Tinubu against interfering in the process and activities of the body.
They also warned that Seyi alleged endorsement of one of the contestants was capable of polarising the association.
Ultimately, Seyi’s alleged preferred candidate lost the election.
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