20 Properties Linked to Tinubu, Associates in UK
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president-elect, including some of his associates, has again been linked to 20 properties bought in the United Kingdom while he was the governor of Lagos State.
This was reported by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) based on an investigation. The report states that 17 of the properties were bought by Oladipo Eludoyin, Tinubu’s associate and a director of Aranda Overseas Corp., between 2004 and 2007.
The OCCRP is a global network of investigative journalists with staff on six continents, whose main agenda is combating corruption and crime prevention.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg investigation reported Seyi, Tinubu’s son, as the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp. – an offshore company he used to acquire a $10.8 million property under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The OCCRP said “Tinubu, whose victory in February is being challenged in court, has been keeping part of his wealth in the United Kingdom, where he and his close associates own at least 20 properties that were mostly acquired when Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State.
OCCRP has uncovered more than a dozen other properties with links to Tinubu.
The investigation reads that Tinubu’s spokesman did not respond to email and text messages seeking comment. It says Tinubu does not have a clear history according to the ruling of a U.S. District Court in Illinois that he was forced to forfeit $460,000 to the U.S. government in 1993 as proceeds of narcotics trafficking.
It also reads that Abeeb Holdings Limited, an offshore company registered in Gibraltar with Tinubu as the beneficial owner, bought Flat 9 at 96-100 New Cavendish Street in London just about a year later.
However, his connection to Abeeb Holdings Limited was revealed by the Register of Overseas Entities, a new measure designed by the UK to reveal the true owners of offshore firms that hold property in the country.
The OCCRP said it later found that Eludoyin is also the beneficial owner of 17 UK properties through three offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.
The organisation added that Babatunde Fashola, Tinubu’s former aide and successor, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the incumbent governor of Lagos, also had a hand in controlling Aranda Overseas Corp. internal affairs.
“Fashola also had a hand in Aranda Resources Limited. He signed and presented the allotment of shares of Aranda Resources Limited to Nigeria’s corporate registry in December 2001”, the report says.
The reports also says that Sanwo-Olu was a director in Aranda Resources Limited until 26 days before his first day in office as governor in May 2019.
As at the time of writing this report, both Fashola’s spokesperson and Sanwo-olu spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment, the report said.
Adegboyega Oyetola, another director of Aranda Resources Limited and Aranda Overseas Corporation, was elected governor of the Nigerian southwestern state of Osun in 2018, and Tinubu was widely credited for his electoral success.
The report states “It is not clear when he became the beneficial owner, but when Aranda Overseas Corporation was incorporated in November 1999 in the tax haven British Virgin Islands, the younger Tinubu was 14 and had just been admitted into Milton Abbey School in England for his secondary school education while his father had just spent nearly six months as the governor of Lagos State.”
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