Report links Tinubu, associates to 20 properties in UK

The President-elect, Bola Tinubu; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; a former Osun State governor, Gboyega Oyetola, and an associate, Oladipo Eludoyin, have been allegedly linked to 20 properties bought in the United Kingdom when he (Tinubu) was serving as Lagos State governor.

According to an investigative report published on Friday, May 5, by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 17 of the properties were bought by Eludoyin, Tinubu’s long-term associate and a director of Aranda Overseas Corp., between 2004 and 2007.

The OCCRP is a global network of investigative journalists with staff members on six continents, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, North America, and Australia, whose main agenda is exposing corruption and preventing crime.

A Bloomberg investigation had on Tuesday reported that Seyi, Tinubu’s son, is the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp. – an offshore company he used in purchasing a $10.8 million property under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Concerning the recent exposé, the OCCRP’s Friday report read, “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. Tinubu’s spokesman did not respond to email and text messages seeking comment,” the investigation reads.

“Tinubu was forced to forfeit $460,000 to the U.S. government in 1993 as proceeds of narcotics trafficking, according to the ruling of a U.S. District Court in Illinois.

“However, about a year later, 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.

“His connection to Abeeb Holdings Limited has been revealed, thanks to 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,” OCCRP reports.

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 Fashola, Tinubu’s former aide and successor, and Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu’s former aide and incumbent governor of Lagos State, also had a hand in controlling Aranda Overseas Corp. internal affairs.

“Fashola also signed and presented the allotment of shares of Aranda Resources Limited to Nigeria’s corporate registry in December 2001. Fashola’s spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

“Sanwo-Olu was a director in Aranda Resources Limited until 26 days before his first day in office as governor in May 2019. His spokesperson also did not respond to requests for comment,” the report said.

The OCCRP report further noted that Eludoyin’s properties were purchased between 2004 and 2007 when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State, adding that he also did not respond to a request for comment.

The report added, “Another director of Aranda Resources Limited and Aranda Overseas Corporation, Adegboyega Oyetola, was elected governor of the Nigerian southwestern state of Osun in 2018, and Tinubu was widely credited for his electoral success.

“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 (Seyi) was 14 and had just been admitted into Milton Abbey School in England for his secondary school education while his father (Bola Tinubu) had just spent nearly six months as the governor of Lagos State.”

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