Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, is facing accusations of keeping part of his wealth in the United Kingdom, where he and his associates own at least 20 properties that were mostly acquired when Tinubu was the governor of Lagos State. The controversy follows the 2023 presidential election, which Tinubu won, but his opponents claim that the elections were rigged.
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Tinubu, who claims to be 71 years old, despite speculations that he is older, is considered Nigeria’s political kingmaker for his role in the elections of several governors in the southwest region of the country, as well as the election of Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated the incumbent in 2015. However, his opponents have criticized his tendency to pick former directors of companies owned by him or his son as governors.
Bloomberg reported that Tinubu’s son, Oluwaseyi, is the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corporation, an offshore company that bought a controversial US$11 million U.K. property in 2017. Nigeria was trying to confiscate the London house that belonged to a Nigerian oil dealer who was facing corruption charges at home and in the United States at the time of the purchase.
Further investigations by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) uncovered more than a dozen other properties with links to Tinubu, mostly acquired while he served as Lagos State’s governor from 1999 to 2007.
Tinubu’s Connection to Abeeb Holdings Limited
Tinubu’s history is not entirely clean, as he 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.
Findings reveal 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.
His connection to Abeeb Holdings Limited has been revealed, thanks to the Register of Overseas Entities, a new measure designed by the U.K. to reveal the true owners of offshore firms that hold property in the country. In 2011, his son’s Aranda Overseas Corporation bought Flat 10A in the same building.
Aranda Resources Limited
Tinubu’s associates also have connections to offshore companies and UK properties. Oladipo Eludoyin, a director of Aranda Overseas Corporation, signed the lease agreement for Flat 10A in London, and he is the founding director of Aranda Resources Limited, a Nigerian registered company whose shares are owned by Aranda Overseas Corporation. According to OCCRP, Eludoyin is the beneficial owner of 17 U.K. properties through three offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, which were purchased between 2004 and 2007 when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State.
Babatunde Fashola, Tinubu’s successor as governor, 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.