The chairman of the forum of governors elected on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Bagudu, and a senator representing Enugu west senatorial district, Ike Ekweremadu, are among serving political office holders named to be part of 334 prominent Nigerians who are linked to 800 properties scattered around the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This was revealed by a new report on illicit financial flows which put the value of the properties at N164 billion.
The report, which was published on Thursday by an American-based non-governmental organisation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is a product of an investigative research conducted by one of its nonresident scholars, Matthew Page.
According to the report, the prominent public figures otherwise described as politically-exposed persons (PEP), who were found to own these properties, cut across Nigeria’s major ethnic, religious and political divides.
The report noted that about 20 former and serving governors, seven former and serving senators, current and former heads of ministries, departments and agencies of government, commissioners and those described as ‘money changers,’ that is, bureau de change operators, own a significant number of the properties.
Some of the other identified individuals linked to the properties include the former PDP chairman, Ahmadu Ali; former Kwara State governor, Mohammed Lawal; former petroleum minister, Dan Etete; another former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu; former managing director of the acquired Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru.
Others are the former inspector general of police, Tafa Balogun; former chairman of military pension board, Bala Mshelia; former group managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ladan Shehu, and a former head of the petroleum product marketing company, Samuel Okeke, among others.
About the report
The report, which is titled; “Dubai Properties” An Oasis for Nigeria’s Corrupt Political Elites”, according to its author is based largely on private data compiled by UAE-based real estate and property professionals.
Dubbed “Sandcastles data,” the UAE-based real estate professionals had in 2016, made the data available to the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (now known as C4ADS) as confidential sources. But as credible as the data is, the Centre added a caveat that they do not constitute property deed, which it noted is a form of official documentation strictly controlled in the UAE as confidential information.
“Further, the data, last updated in 2016, show the affiliation of individuals and entities with Dubai property at that moment in time, and, as such, this paper makes no claim that these affiliations have continued past that year. The mention of any individual, company, organisation, or entity in this paper does not imply the violation of any law or international agreement,” the report cautioned.
Some of the individuals’ share of the properties
Described in the report as Abacha man, Mr. Bagudu is said to be linked to eight properties on the twelfth floor of Dubai’s capital bay towers development. The properties are said to worth more than $4.8 million in total.
Mr. Bagudu’s name has consistently appeared in some of the recoveries of monies stashed abroad by Mr. Abacha. Mr Bagudu, the incumbent Kebbi State governor, helped Mr. Abacha embezzle billions of dollars from government coffers in the mid to late 1990s, according to U.S. court filings.
He has, however, continued to deny all corruption allegations leveled against him, but a 1998 Nigerian government investigative panel described how Mr. Bagudu and his accomplices siphoned these funds.
Very recently, Nigeria was reported to be committed to a deal that would give Mr. Bagudu about $100 million from funds recovered from his erstwhile boss, Mr. Abacha. This was revealed through a report by Bloomberg, which cited court documents.
The report noted that “when provided with an opportunity to comment on his possible connection to property in Dubai, Bagudu did not respond.” PREMIUM TIMES’ message asking similar questions sent to his telephone line and his WhatsApp page was not replied.
Late Mohammed Lawal: He was the governor of Kwara State between 1999 and 2003, and was a military governor of Ogun State between 1987 and 1990. Mr. Lawal is linked to six properties with a total purchase price of over $2 million. “At least, one of those properties, a villa, was bought in January 2003, while Lawal was still in office.”
Ike Ekweremadu: Currently Nigeria’s longest serving parliamentarian and three-time deputy president of the senate, Mr. Ekweremadu is said to be connected to eight Dubai properties, with an estimated total value of more than $7 million. “These include a luxury flat in Park Towers bought for $2.2 million and one in Burj Dubai purchased for $1.4 million.”
Described as a career politician, Mr Ekweremadu is also linked to at least two properties in the United Kingdom, which according to the records were purchased between 2008 and 2011 for a total of 4.2 million pound sterling in 2011.
“One of these properties, an upscale flat in central London, is registered in the name of Ekweremadu’s charitable foundation while the second, a detached house in a leafy north London suburb, is owned by a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands,” the report stated.
The researcher noted in the report that through Mr. Ekweremadu’s unnamed spokesman, he denied owning “purported ‘hidden properties’” and has stated “unequivocally that he declared all his assets with the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law.”
When contacted by our reporter, his spokesman, Uche Anichukwu, said he was unaware of the said report and requested that its link should be forwarded to him for reaction. However, as at the time of filing this report, he was yet to respond to the enquiry.
Ibrahim Mantu: A former deputy senate president and an advocate of third term agenda for former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr. Mantu is linked to 12 of the 800 properties which he was said to have purchased for a total of over 10 million dollars through a front company, TSE Stevedoring Nigeria.
His wife and sons reportedly own 70 per cent of the company. “Through another company, A-Z Properties, Mantu also is linked to a $600,000 flat in the Jumeirah Beach Residences while his son, Musa, is also tied to a comparable flat in the same development.”
Ahmadu Ali: A former chairman of the PDP, Mr. Ali; his wife, Marian Ali, and his son, Mamman Ali are linked to 11 of the identified properties. Seven of the said properties are worth about $4 million while the other four are said to be worth an estimated $2 million.
The report added; “Ali also owns two high-end London properties: a $10 million house near Hampstead Heath and a $1.3 million flat in Marylebone.84 Ali did not respond when given an opportunity to comment on the aforementioned allegations or his family’s possible connection to property in Dubai.”
Cecilia Ibru: The former bank managing director, her family and associates are linked to dozens of properties in Dubai as recently as 2016, according to the report. They include eight apartments in the Park Towers development purchased for a total of $4.3 million; a flat in Dubai Marina now worth about $500,000, and four commercial properties.
These are apart from $1.2 billion in stolen cash and assets forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria following her plea bargain with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, after she pleaded guilty to three of 25-count of fraud brought against her.
The forfeited assets then had included 12 homes in the United States; four homes in South Africa, 28 shop fronts and seven residences in Dubai; 41 properties in Lagos, and eight houses in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
Use of fronts
Meanwhile, the report also identified possible use of fronts by prominent Nigerians including former Delta State governor, James Ibori.
According to the report, about four political associates of the former governor were found to have ties to properties in Dubai. “One is linked to four Dubai properties, purchased for a total of $3.8 million, according to Sandcastles data. Another is affiliated with a two-bedroom flat on the 21st floor of the DAMAC Residenze, which, according to the developer, “comes with all the trappings of an indulgent lifestyle,” as well as “uninterrupted panoramic views of the ocean.”
The report further noted that the official reportedly purchased the apartment for over $1.5 million and also bought a flat in another development for $500,000.66.
“A third Ibori ally is linked to a two-bedroom flat on the 23rd floor of the DAMAC Residenze that he purchased for over $1.3 million. Yet another is tied to four luxury flats in Dubai, purchased for just over $2 million in total,” the report added.
There is also a businessman involved in technology and petroleum sectors, Shehu Badamasi, who is said to have created a Dubai property empire worth over 120 million dollars. He is said to have accomplished this despite being well-known to Nigerian law enforcement.
The report noted that Badamasi asserted that he and his companies do not, as of February 2020, own any Dubai real estate. “When asked to clarify whether he owned property prior to 2016—the period covered by the Sandcastles data—he did not deny owning it.”
The businessman was said to be known to the EFCC having been allegedly arrested, at least twice, for alleged criminal conspiracy, fraud, and diversion of credit facility worth roughly N17.7 billion.
“Badamasi appears to have owned Dubai property through two firms he controls. Through Nujuum Ventures, he was linked to 89 properties. He also holds an 11 per cent stake in Secure Electronic Technology (formerly the Nigerian Sports Lottery) through Nujuum. Badamasi’s other major corporate vehicle is Tanzila Petroleum, a petroleum products trading company. Through Tanzila, he was affiliated with 25 Dubai properties, purchased for a total of 25.7 million dollars,” report said.
THE TABLE BELOW SHOWS THE DISTRIBUTION AND OWNERSHIP OF THE PROPERTIES:
With her worsening poverty rate, which is said to be as high as 52 per cent, Nigeria was recently dubbed world’s poverty capital. However, in spite of this frightening stigma, a handful of the country’s elites have been found to control huge wealth stashed away in foreign lands both in cash and assets.
The report recommended strict response from the country’s anti-corruption agencies, noting that “ignoring this phenomenon would ensure that Dubai property remains an attractive conduit for illicit financial flows from Nigeria for decades to come.”
It added that failure to act appropriately will enable the outflows to “drain government coffers, drive up borrowing, and put further pressure on the naira, Nigeria’s perennially struggling currency.”
Speaking on the development, the spokeswoman for one of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC), Rasheedah Okoduwa, said the agency is determined to recover as much loot as possible.
She said the agency would study the report and consider its review for possible action.
“We will look into it and take appropriate action,” she said.
Mrs. Okoduwa’s counterpart at the EFCC, Tony Orimolade, neither picked his call nor replied text message forwarded to his mobile line.
Dubai’s ‘uncooperative’ stance
But the report has identified as a possible clog in stopping illicit outflows to the Middle East, Dubai government’s poor commitment to financial regulations.
The report noted; “For politically exposed persons (PEPs) with ill-gotten wealth, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an alluring destination for investing their gains. Although certainly not the only place to stash money, Dubai—dubbed the commercial capital of the Middle East—exercises minimal oversight and has few legal or logistical obstacles to transferring large amounts of cash or purchasing property.”
Dubai authorities are said to beyond reprimand by the western world, especially following the city’s relationship with both Europe and America.
“Western governments are constrained by their complex and cozy relationships with the UAE. The United States, United Kingdom, and many European governments enjoy close ties to Emirati leaders, underpinned by decades of close diplomatic and military cooperation. Strong financial and institutional links—not to mention robust defense equipment sales—have also helped cement ties. Compared to its neighbors, the UAE is a relatively stable and reliable Western partner in the Gulf region. Constrained by its own strategic imperatives, the international community lacks leverage—or even backroom influence—over Emirati decision making. This makes it difficult to apply coordinated and sustained pressure on Emirati officials on sensitive issues like Dubai’s role in facilitating illicit financial flows,” the report added
Last Wednesday, we published the success story from Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a board-certified family practitioner in New York, after he successfully treated 350 coronavirus patients with 100 percent success using a cocktail of drugs:
hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate. Dr. Zelenko said he saw the symptom of shortness of breath resolved within four to six hours after treatment. Do you know that the ancient Egypt were civilized by architects from the (500,000 - 4000 BC) Nsukka Civiliation? ajuede.com has the answer.
Now, Dr. Zelenko provides updates on the treatment after he successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients in New York. In an exclusive interview with former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Vladmir Zelenko shares the results of his latest study, which showed that out of his 699 patients treated, zero patients died, zero patients intubated, and fo…
AKANCopied from the book, Reality as Myth by Onyeji Nnaji. The influence of the
Akan on their content nations lies on their population and commonwealth of
their brother nations. The Akan are one of the largest ethnic groups in West
Africa. Their population is scattered across West Africa and beyond. Among this
huge population of the Akan, the Ghanaians are more popular, perhaps because of
the political influence of the Ashanti Empire in the area. Not much is heard or
known about other Akan settlements like the Akwamu, the Akyem , the Akuapem,
the Denkyira, the Abron, the Aowin, the Ahanta, the Anyi, the Baoule, the
Chokosi, the Fante, the Kwahu, the Sefwi, the Ahafo, the Assin, the Evalue, the
Wassa the Adjukru, the Akye, the Alladian, the Attie,the M'Bato, the Abidji,
the Avikam,the Avatime the Ebrie, the Ehotile, the Nzema, the Abbe, the Aboure,
the Coromantins, the Ndyuka people and other peoples of Côte d'Ivoire. Every Akan nation adopts the image…
from the Book; "Reality as Myth"
by Onyeji Nnaji
of the discovering of the Radar Rivers and their channels is that it disproves
the western hegemonic claim of the Euphrates valley being the position of the
birth of the great river, all the points that opposed their claims
notwithstanding. Even God himself was very perfect in His creation by placing
them in their positions, hierarchically, according to their birth. The first
river that flowed located the Havilah land where there are good quality gold,
bdellium and fine onyx stones. Pison was the oldest of the rivers and it flowed
through the land of the southern Africa. The second river flowed northward to
Ethiopia. It was when Africa had been overtaken by virtue of her proximity to
the Great Water that other parts of the world began to encounter the remaining
river; remarkable with Hiddekel.
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of Euphrates is still shaky for two reasons…
Copied from the book, Reality as Myths by Onyeji NnajiThe world of the Bantu travellers shows the walls of the
migration that recorded the highest population among the African settlement.
Originating from the largest population among the four races that settled in
the east before time, all Bantu travellers were pygmies; for that was the
nature of the Umudiala, the
generation that gave birth to them. Bantu migration was rated the third
earliest migration of the Negro race from the east. In this regard, all their
movement had involved great population of people compared to the number of
people involved in the two earlier populations that gave birth to Ethiopia,
Nubia and Egypt: the Walker Traveller, and the
Race of Anu. Bantu population as we have identified in the third chapter
above outweighs the rest of the population of the ancient fathers that founded
many of the nations of antiquity mentioned earlier. Discussing them in beat
will pose a little challenge since their migration condi…
The name Nkalaha is a
coinage which stands for a people occupying a geographical land and regional
setting in the eastern part of Nigeria. It is a coinage which attempts to
explain the direction of movement and adventure of the men who founded the
community in the 15th century AD. According to oral sources and some
documentation about this community, some of these men were believed to have
traveled from Ida, old Benue state of Nigeria to inhabit the land. These men
had traveled on different days to locate the place. Onojah who originally
founded the land was said to have been in a deep search for a place of safety
as he was besieged by a fate that appeared to make him somewhat incompatible
with his own people. Nkalaha
is one of the communities that make up Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi
State. Nkalaha occupied the northern part of Ishielu Local Government Area. She
is located through the zip 135.031.000. The community sits on 923.768km2. She shares boundaries with neighbourin…
The Mystery of
Number, “Five” in the Igbo Cosmology.From: Aspects
of the Ancient African Metaphysics;Chapter: Seven;Topic: Igbo
Geometries and the Metaphysics of Numbers.Author: Onyeji
Nnaji. In the Igbo
cosmology, the word Isee is a definite symbolic word as revealed through
the Igbo language and culture. A human being has five fingers, five toes. The
hands and feet are fundamentals to the survival in life as they are necessary
in ensuring that man moves to places where he gets food and grapples on the
food to sustain his life. To this view, the rhetoric that binds vocatives in
the form of incantation (anchoring on the heart-lock: four) and the
concomitant reprisal in the manner of affirmation that holds the human life
bind to his original spiritual person, therefore defining existence and
essences are unified by the corresponding echo: Isee!!!!! Therefore
it stands that anytime a prayer is said in the Igbo land, the attendants who would
want the fulfillment of the prayer unanimously …
STRICTLY FOR COUPLES … You
will know that the man is the head while you are his neck. As such, you direct
his focus and make him fixative Read also: STEP FOUR: LEARN TO PACKAGE YOURSELF
My neighbour had vowed never to let any girl
survive as a salesgirl in my shop. This thing has happened for over three
times. Each time we brought a new salesgirl, the girl would stay for two or
three months; and suddenly she would end her contract with us. In all these, my
husband did not know. So, being that the girls usually stole money and other
items, the reason for their departure became genuine, thus: they ran away to
avoid being punished for their actions. But behind this, the underling truth is
that the girls had been embarrassed by my neighbour who would warn them to leave
her loosed husband. Recently, the woman threatened to fight my
salesgirl before she suddenly announced her departure. I could not bear it anymore
that I had to tell my husband. In his normal playful lifestyle, my husband
INTRODUCTION One thing that made Udi remarkable is the indubitable
legacy adopted in commemoration of the legendry fighter, Uto at Nsude. It was one
of the greatest contributions of the descendants of Agbaja to the survival of
Nsukka civilization of memory. Uto held from Oshie. Uto dies of small pox after
a mercenary battle he was hired to fight in the ancient Benin. His body was buried
in the evil forest as the tradition demanded. Although he lived no longer, the
stepped pyramids above were adopted to commemorate the lasting peace he brought
to the entire Oshie and Udi nation of people. Another remarkable thing about Udi is the
fertility of the land. This has contributed widely in sustaining the
inhabitants and provided a name for the inhabitants in the manner of Abakaliki,
Umudike, Ogbaru, Igboariam, Ohaji, Uzouwani, etc., especially in Amofia-Agu,
Affa. Udi is a land of great rivers and springs: Adaada, Ajali, Oji, Aria,
Nvenu, Ngene Evu, Iyi Ububo, etc. as was the situation every…
THE KIKUYI OF KENYA The Kikuyu of Kenya is another larger sect of
the families, far East Africa. The history of the Kikuyu Bantus is complicating
as many storytellers seem to fight for the interest of their clans. On the
contrary, the suggestion that Kikuyu population were the offspring of one man,
Gikuyu was the most suspicious information that did not sink down with real
historical supposition. Gikuyu and Kikuyu are two different ethnic groups with
different origin entirely. How Kikuyu, a Bantu settlement could come from Gikuyu
is not only probable, but fallacious. What is eminent is the fact that the
tribe that holds the traditional head of the Kikuyu Bantu is the Abaluya.
According to Oral sources, Gideon Were, John Osogo, Daniel Wako, among others,
“the clans in Abaluya are over twenty”. Significant enough, they all possess
the denoting prefix Aba in their names. They are Abanyole, Abetakho, Abesukha,
Abatsotso, Abanyala, Abakabras, Abatachoni, Abamarama, Abashisa, Abatirichi,
ETHIOPIAHISTORY & ORIGIN (Extracted from the
book, Reality as Myth)BYONYEJI NNAJI
Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley
watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the
ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. ... There a people, now forgotten, discovered
while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race
of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair,
founded on the study of the laws of nature, those civil and religious systems
which still govern the universe(Count Volney). Because of the position of Ethiopia
in the Bible story as one remarkable black nation with ancient history, it
becomes almost impossible to see any other nation as being of more ancient than
Ethiopia. Ethiopia suddenly became the yardstick for the analysis of the Negro
race. And with the influence of Christianity in the inner part of Africa, the
adherents were provided with bold pictures of the cradle of the human race…