Nigeria’s president elect’s son now owns a UK mansion.

7 minutes, 23 seconds Read

The mansion in north London. Source: Google Inc.

The son of the incoming president of Nigeria bought a $11 million London mansion that had previously been sought for confiscation by the government of his predecessor as part of an investigation into one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country’s history, according to previously undisclosed UK company documents.

Although current Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu was not personally implicated in the purchase of the aforementioned UK property in 2017, it has been reported that President Muhammadu Buhari visited the property in August 2021, approximately four years after the acquisition.

Tinubu has faced questions about the origin of his family’s wealth for some time, including during the recent election campaign, during which he and his representatives were queried about it by both local and international media outlets.

Tinubu and his campaign have maintained that his wealth was amassed prior to his foray into politics through a combination of real estate inheritance, wise investments, and past professional positions as an accountant at Deloitte LLP and as an executive at the Nigerian branch of Mobil Oil during the 1980s and early 1990s.

During an interview  in the lead-up to the election, Tinubu cited Warren Buffett as someone he emulated in building his wealth.

Oluwaseyi Tinubu, Bola Tinubu’s 37-year-old son, is the main stakeholder of Aranda Overseas Corp., an offshore company that paid Deutsche Bank £9 million ($10.8 million) for a private house in north London in late 2017.

This information was recently obtained from corporate documents, according to the report. This three-story home has amenities like an eight-car garage, automated gates, two gardens, and a gym.

It is located in the St. John’s Wood neighborhood, which is popular with American bankers.

Despite attempts to reach them, both Bola Tinubu’s spokesman and his son Oluwaseyi Tinubu have not responded to emails, phone calls, or text messages seeking comment on the matter.

The British lawyer identified as Aranda’s agent in the UK also declined to comment on the situation, citing confidentiality rules.

The previous owner of the house, Kolawole Aluko, was wanted by the Nigerian government at the time the property was bought on suspicion of evading justice despite owing the nation more than $1.5 billion in oil trade debt.

The state was also pursuing the confiscation of Aluko’s high-end real estate holdings and other assets that were thought to have been acquired using money from illegal operations.

Aluko, however, has always refuted any accusations of misconduct and has cited a court ruling from earlier this year clearing his former business partner of similar allegations as evidence of his innocence. However, Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency is currently contesting the ruling.

Bola Tinubu, 71, was elected as the All Progressives Congress’s candidate in the elections held in February and is set to succeed his political ally, President Buhari, on May 29.

Tinubu was crucial in bringing together opposition groups that resulted in the election of the current head of state in 2015.

Despite the fact that Nigeria has dropped in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the past eight years, President Buhari ran on an anti-corruption platform and won the election.

President Buhari’s Visit

Buhari’s  Visit

Bola Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos state, has been accused of corruption and law violations, all of which he has denied.

In 1993, he agreed to pay $460,000 to settle a lawsuit in Chicago filed by federal authorities alleging that bank accounts in his name stored heroin trafficking revenues.

Tinubu’s legal team, on the other hand, claims that he was never formally charged in connection with the incident.

According to the Lagos-based news portal Premium Times, Bola Tinubu received a visit from President Buhari while residing at the 7,000-square-foot London mansion in August 2021.

According to documents obtained from the Pandora Papers leak of offshore companies’ data, online newspaper Premium Times reported that Adegboyega Oyetola, former governor of Osun state, and Elusanmi Eludoyin, head of a Nigerian property group, were the shareholders and directors of Aranda from its formation 24 years ago until at least 2010.

Both Oyetola’s spokesman and Eludoyin did not respond to requests for comment.

However, documents filed this year in response to new anti-money laundering rules in the UK reveal that Bola Tinubu’s son, Oluwaseyi Tinubu, an entrepreneur active in advertising who played a prominent role in his father’s presidential campaign, has been in control of Aranda since June 2011.

The company registered as an overseas entity in the UK on January 20, 2017.

Allegations Against Aluko

During Buhari’s first term, his administration filed lawsuits against Diezani Alison-Madueke, the oil minister for five years until 2015, and two businessmen, Kolawole Aluko and Olajide Omokore, who received lucrative contracts during her time.

In a 2017 forfeiture action filed in Texas, the US government claimed that the couple bribed the minister by subsidizing her “lavish” lifestyle and failed to pay the state energy corporation for the majority of the crude they got.

Alison-Madueke, who is residing in London, has disputed the claims and is fighting a series of forfeiture orders issued by Nigerian courts.

She has accused the anti-corruption agency of preventing her from defending herself in criminal proceedings.

Tinubu’s son purchased the London home while the property was still subject to a Nigerian government confiscation order.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) got a court order to take the home and more than a dozen other properties owned by Kolawole Aluko, the former owner, who was accused of owing the Nigerian government more than $1.5 billion in oil-trading debt.

The injunction was issued in June 2016, and it remained in effect until Oluwaseyi Tinubu purchased the residence from receivership in late 2017.


Bola Tinubu Photographer: Kola Sulaimon/AFP/Getty Images

The order was given on a temporary basis, according to court documents, because an investigation into Aluko was still proceeding by the end of 2018.

Because the forfeiture case is currently “sub-judice,” Aluko’s lawyer, Tokunbo Jaiye-Agoro, declined to comment via email.

Although Deutsche Bank foreclosed on the house and appointed receivers to sell it in late 2016, there is no indication in court filings that the Nigerian government was aware of the lender’s actions as the seizure process was being pursued.

According to the US Justice Department, Aluko acquired loans using other assets as collateral.

According to court documents, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the buildings in question “were suspected to have been purchased with the proceeds of crime” and that Aluko “fled the country” to avoid facing fraud allegations leveled against him.

Meanwhile, Omokore was acquitted of charges related to the same allegations by a Nigerian court in February, but the EFCC, which accuses him of defrauding the state energy firm of $1.6 billion, has indicated its intention to appeal.

Aluko and Alison-Madueke were removed from the indictment since they were not in the country, and Aluko’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Omokore’s acquittal, according to Aluko’s lawyer, Tokunbo Jaiye-Agoro, has “put to rest all the false allegations” concerning his and Aluko’s wealth.

Despite the appeal, Jaiye-Agoro stated that Aluko’s income was “legitimate and not derived from any corrupt practice.

” Meanwhile, Omokore’s lawyer, Rafiu Lawal-Rabana, said in a text message that Omokore “objects to the continuous linking of his name to any corrupt practices.

” Lawal-Rabana went on to say that the court’s earlier decision to release Omokore on all charges suggested that any problems with the oil contracts’ implementation were “purely technical, not criminal.”

Both President Buhari’s spokesman and Alison-Madueke’s lawyer declined to comment.

Meanwhile, requests for comment from the Attorney General’s Office, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the EFCC went unanswered.

Penthouses and yachts

While the government was pursuing Aluko and his assets in 2017, a business owned by Tinubu’s son bought one of the targets.

According to UK land records, there is not now a documented mortgage on the structure, which Aranda still owns.

Aranda did not purchase the home from Aluko directly; rather, it came from a UK division of Deutsche Bank AG, which had appointed receivers to sell the property a year earlier and had a mortgage on it.

According to Premium Times, Aluko purchased the home in 2013 for £11.95 million through a British Virgin Islands business. Deutsche Bank chose not to respond to a question about it.

Aluko’s attorney, Jaiye-Agoro, claims that Aluko is unaware of Aranda or the people who run the business. He also claims that Aluko had nothing to do with the sale of the property because the bank had already foreclosed on the home and Aluko had no connection to either.

When asked if they had received a request to freeze the property from Nigerian authorities, the UK’s National Crime Agency and UK Home Office both declined to comment.

In the meanwhile, the US Justice Department reported that it had recovered more than $53 million by seizing assets that Aluko had paid more than $160 million for and that they believed to be the proceeds of wrongdoing.

These possessions include a 65-meter superyacht and mansions in New York and California.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *