An investigative report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has linked former Lagos State Governor and current President-elect, Bola Tinubu, with the purchase of at least 20 properties in the UK, alongside other top Nigerian politicians.
Tinubu’s long-term associate, Oladipo Eludoyin, is said to have purchased 17 of these properties between 2004 and 2007, while Seyi Tinubu, the former Governor’s son, was revealed by a Bloomberg investigation to be the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp., the offshore company used to purchase a $10.8m property under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. OCCRP claims to have found more than a dozen additional properties with links to Tinubu.
The report claims that both Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had roles in controlling the internal affairs of Aranda Overseas Corp.
Sanwo-Olu was a director in the company until shortly before his first day in office, while Fashola signed and presented the allotment of shares of Aranda Resources Limited to Nigeria’s corporate registry in December 2001. The OCCRP is a global network of investigative journalists with a remit to expose corruption and prevent crime.
This is not the first time that Tinubu has faced allegations of impropriety. In 1993, he was forced to forfeit $460,000 to the US government as the proceeds of narcotics trafficking, according to a ruling by a US District Court in Illinois.
A year later, offshore company Abeeb Holdings Limited, registered in Gibraltar with Tinubu as the beneficial owner, purchased a property in London. The UK Register of Overseas Entities has recently been introduced to reveal the true owners of offshore firms holding property in the country.
OCCRP has claimed that Eludoyin is also the beneficial owner of 17 UK properties through three offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.