Seyi Tinubu, the son of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has been linked with the purchase of a property in London, the United Kingdom, for about $11 million.
According to corporate documents seen by Bloomberg for the first time, Tinubu’s 37-year-old son used an offshore shell company, Aranda Overseas Corporation, to close the purchase facilitated through Deutsche Bank. The property is reportedly tucked in an elite neighbourhood in North London.
The document revealed that the Younger Tinubu paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the mansion, which sits on a 7,000-square foot land. The house had been under investigation by the Nigerian government, with a view to seizure, because of its link with fraud proceeds by one Kola Aluko.
The business journal described Seyi Tinubu as the main shareholder of Aranda, which documents from the Pandora Papers leak of offshore company’s data showed that the former Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, who is also a relative of the President-elect, was on the board until 2010.
What to know about the property
An ongoing global Pandora Papers reporting project, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in which Premium Times is a key participant showed the property is situated at 32 Grove End Road, in the wealthy Westminster neighbourhood of London.
Citing an advert brochure of the property released by a popular United Kingdom real estate company, the report showed the estate consists of two structures, the larger of which is a five-bedroom home with a formal parlor room, study, master bedroom with en suite bathroom, dressing room, and balcony overlooking the back yard. Two of the remaining four bedrooms in the house have en suite bathrooms.
The second structure on the site is a two-bedroom apartment with its own entrance that is located over the double-length garage. The house has a gym, two guest bathrooms, an automatic gate, a carriage driveway with space for up to eight automobiles, front and back gardens, and all of these amenities.
The ICIJ and Premium Times report showed President Muhammadu Buhari on August 12, 2021 visited Nigeria’s President-elect, Tinubu at the London property, after the former Lagos Governor started staying there for an undisclosed illness.
Apart from Buhari, other politicians who have visited Tinubu at the expanse 6,975 sq ft property are the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; a former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun; Amosun’s successor, Dapo Abiodun; the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; the governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; members of the Lagos State House of Assembly; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; a contingent from Kano State led by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje; top Fuji musician; Wasiu Ayinde, among other dignitaries.
According to the report, by Bloomberg, the London mansion was previously owned by businessman, Kola Aluko accused of $1.6 billion fraud in Nigeria.
During President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term, the legal cases against Diezani Alison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum, involved Kola Aluko and Olajide Omokore. According to the lawsuits, Omokore and Aluko won lucrative contracts from Alison-Madueke.
The US government said that both men bribed Alison-Madueke to bypass paying the Nigerian government for most of the crude oil they secured. The trio has since denied the allegations.
A federal judge gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) permission to seize several properties that Aluko had acquired in Nigeria and abroad, including the mansion in St. John’s Wood, in June 2016.
Brief description of the house
A substantial detached house offering c.7,000 square feet of lateral accommodation over three floors.
The imposing low-built house is set behind security gates and a substantial carriage driveway that can accommodate up to 8 cars.
The property offers flexible reception space, a large 2 car garage, front & rear gardens and staff accommodation with a separate entrance.
It has an entrance hall, formal reception room, study, dining room, family room, master bedroom suite with en suite dressing room, bathroom, and a cinema suite with a balcony overlooking the rear garden.
The building also has four further bedrooms (two en suite), family bathroom, a self-contained two-bedroom flat above the garage with a separate entrance, staff/catering kitchen, gym, two guest cloakrooms, carriage driveway with parking for up to eight double-length garage, front & rear gardens, air conditioning and secure electric gates.
Nigeria’s next president
Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Other contenders — Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) — election are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the presidential election tribunal.
They said the election was flawed as INEC did not adhere strictly to the guidelines for the conduct of the exercise.
During the campaigns for the poll, Tinubu was accused of forfeiting $460,000 to the United States to settle a lawsuit in Chicago over funds from proceeds of drug trafficking lodged in his bank accounts.