24.2 C
Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Seyi Tinubu Bought $11m London Property Buhari Wanted to Seize for Corruption – Bloomberg

Must read

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
Listen now

A firm belonging to Seyi Tinubu the son of Nigeria’s president-elect bought an $11 million London mansion that his predecessor’s government was seeking to confiscate as part of a probe into one of the biggest corruption scandals in the African nation’s history, according to previously unreported UK company documents.

The UK property was allegedly acquired in 2017, and current President Muhammadu Buhari visited President-elect Bola Tinubu there in August 2021, nearly four years after the purchase took place, Bloomberg reported.

Tinubu, who will take over as head of state this month, has long been questioned about the source of his family’s wealth, including throughout the recent election campaign, when he and his representatives were pressed about it by local and international media.

He and his campaign have said he made his fortune before going into politics by inheriting real estate, investing well and working as an accountant at Deloitte LLP and an executive at the Nigerian subsidiary of Mobil Oil in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In an interview with the BBC in the run-up to the election, Tinubu cited Warren Buffett as an example he followed to become rich.

The corporate documents seen by Bloomberg show for the first time that Tinubu’s 37-year-old son Oluwaseyi is the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp., an offshore company that paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the property in north London in late 2017.

The private three-floor residence in St. John’s Wood — a district favored by American bankers — is equipped with an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates and a gym.

At the time of the purchase, Nigeria’s government was seeking to arrest the house’s former owner, accusing him of going on the run while owing the country an oil-trading debt worth more than $1.5 billion.

The state was also attempting to confiscate the upscale real estate and other assets it suspected had been acquired by the businessman — Kolawole Aluko — with the profits of crime.

Aluko denies all allegations of wrongdoing and says a court judgment earlier this year acquitting a former business partner has cleared his name. That ruling is being challenged by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency.

Tinubu, 71, won an election in February as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress and is scheduled to succeed his political ally Buhari on May 29.

While Buhari was elected on a pledge to tackle widespread graft, the country’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index has deteriorated over the past eight years.

Tinubu has long been dogged by allegations of graft and rule-breaking, which he denies. In 1993, he forfeited $460,000 to resolve a lawsuit in Chicago after US federal authorities said that bank accounts in his name held the proceeds of heroin trafficking.

In October 2017, as the government that Tinubu played an instrumental role in bringing to power was chasing Aluko and his assets, his son’s company bought one of the targeted properties. A

randa still owns the building and there is currently no mortgage registered to it, according to the UK land records.

The US Justice Department announced on March 27 that it has recovered more than $53 million by confiscating assets bought by Aluko for more than $160 million with what it considers to be the proceeds of corruption — including a 65-meter superyacht and luxury homes in California and New York.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article