Apart from being one of the most reputable politicians in Nigeria, Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra state, is a billionaire and a successful businessman.
Before starting his political career, Peter started as a trader as he was born and raised in a business-inclined family. After that, he ventured into the corporate world.
As a certified businessman, he has many business laurels to his name. He earned his Chief Executive Programme from the renowned Lagos Business School. He also has two certifications from the Harvard Business School.
Peter also attended the London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, and the International Institute for Management Development. There, he was certified as a Senior Executive Program and the Chief Executive Officer Program.
He studied at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, Saïd Business School of Oxford University, and the Judge Business School of Cambridge University.
With these skills, Peter Obi handled several leadership roles in organisations such as Next International Nigeria Ltd; Guardian Express Mortgage Bank Limited; Future View Securities Limited; and Paymaster Nigeria Limited.
In his corporate journey, he also became the youngest chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.
His political career
Peter Obi considers politics a serious business that cannot be separated from the economy but must be combined to ensure development.
In 2003, he contested under the All Progressives Grand Alliance party (APGA) and lost to Chris Ngige from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He, however, did not back down without a court fight.
On March 15, 2006, he won the lawsuit, and the Court of Appeal reversed Ngige’s election position as the governor of Anambra state. Obi was sworn in two days later.
The same year, he was impeached by the state house of assembly and replaced with his deputy, Virginia Etiaba, who became Nigeria’s first female governor.
He appealed the state house of assembly’s action against him, and on February 9, 2007, he was reinstated by the Enugu Court of Appeal.
Peter was defeated by Andy Uba in the next election. He took the case to court since he hadn’t completed his four-year tenure. The Supreme Court of Nigeria affirmed Obi’s claim on June 14, 2007, and he was reinstated.
In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Peter Obi won, defeating Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It served as his second term as the governor of Anambra state.
Peter Obi: The Controversy
Although Peter Obi is considered one of the transparent and open politicians, he has his fair share of secrets. Which begs the question of how transparent is Peter Obi?
From the Pandora papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Peter owns offshore companies in tax-havens countries like the British Virgin Islands.
In 2010, while still in office, he set up an offshore company called Gabriella Investments Limited through Acces International. It was managed by the same firm that set it up to ensure discretion.
In 2017, he included his family in the company and changed the name to PMGG Investments Limited. PMGG is derived from the initials of his family members: P for Peter, M for Margret, G for Gabriella and G for Gregory. He also created a trust that made PMGG the sole stakeholder of the company.
However, his involvement in shell companies dates back to the 1990s. With this, the transparency of the Labour Party 2023 presidential candidate is being questioned.
Peter Obi’s run-in with the law
According to Nigeria’s statutory law, any individual engaged in or directing a private enterprise besides farming must withdraw upon becoming a public officer.
After the overturn of Chris Ngige, Peter took over the governorship office on March 17, 2006. During this period, he was still the director of Next International (UK) Limited. He stayed as the director for 14 months before resigning in 2008, which was 14 months after.
He did not announce his assets, offshore corporations and operated international bank accounts.