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Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, who is set to take office on 29 May 2023, has been found to have connections to at least 20 properties in the United Kingdom.
These properties were mainly purchased when Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State.
Tinubu, known as a major political kingmaker in Nigeria, has played a significant role in the elections of numerous governors and the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.
His son, Oluwasey, is the primary shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corporation, an offshore company that bought a controversial $10.8 million UK property in 2017, according to Bloomberg in a report on Tuesday.
According to Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) Nigeria partner, Premium Times has found over a dozen properties connected to Tinubu, primarily acquired during his tenure as Lagos State’s governor from 1999 to 2007.
Tinubu’s spokesperson has not commented on these findings.
At the time one of the properties was purchased, Nigeria was attempting to seize a London house belonging to a Nigerian oil dealer facing corruption charges in Nigeria and the United States.
Steve Goodrich, head of research and investigations at Transparency International UK, said, “If there are reasonable grounds to suspect these assets were bought with criminal funds, then they should be investigated.”
He added that owning property through offshore companies is often done for the sake of secrecy.
The connection between Tinubu and various offshore companies has been revealed due to the Register of Overseas Entities, a new UK measure that uncovers the true owners of offshore firms holding property in the country.
Oladipo Eludoyin, a director of Aranda Overseas Corporation and founding director of Aranda Resources Limited, is linked to 17 UK properties through three offshore companies.
These properties were purchased between 2004 and 2007, while Tinubu was governor of Lagos State.
In 2011, his son’s Aranda Overseas Corporation bought Flat 10A in the same building. The lease agreement was signed by Tinubu’s associate, Oladipo Eludoyin, a director of Aranda Overseas Corporation.
Eludoyin is also the founding director of Aranda Resources Limited, a Nigerian registered company whose shares are owned by Aranda Overseas Corporation.
Several Nigerian politicians have connections to Aranda Resources Limited and Aranda Overseas Corporation, including Babatunde Fashola, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Adegboyega Oyetola.
According to the publication, these politicians have not responded to requests for comment on the matter.