The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has been named in a financial scandal and alleged conflict of interest after the Pandora Papers revealed the purchase of a high-brow London property via an offshore account.
A report published on Thursday by Premium Times in collaboration with UK-based Finance Uncovered reported this within the larger Pandora Papers Investigation coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which alleged property laundering by the Osun State chief executive
According to the report, the mansion, located at 32 Grove End Road, London, “is not only embroiled in a multi-billion fraud scandal, but the Buhari government had actually secured a freezing order on the property from a Federal High Court before the previous owner, who is now an international fugitive, sold it at a huge discount to an offshore company owned by the governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, a known proxy and a relative of Mr Tinubu.”
Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, according to the report, is recuperated in the mansion which “has become a sort of mecca to associates of Mr Tinubu, and politicians of the ruling APC.”
Revealing the chronology of incidents regarding the acquisition of the property by Oyetola, the report stated that ” in July 2013, the property with title number was bought for £11.95 million by Zavlil Holdings Ltd, a shell company owned by Kolawole Aluko, an international fugitive wanted by law enforcement agencies in Nigeria and the United States for money laundering”.
Aluko, a known associate of Nigeria’s former minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke is being sought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over allegation of graft anointing to billions of naira.
“Documents obtained from the U.K. property register revealed that Mr Aluko sold the house for £9 million to Aranda Overseas Corporation, an offshore company incorporated in the British Virgins Island by two of Mr Tinubu’s most trusted surrogates – Adegboyega Oyetola, formerly chair of Paragon Group of Companies and incumbent governor of Osun State and Elusanmi Eludoyin, Mr Oyetola’s successor at Paragon.
“It however remains unclear why Mr Oyetola would rush to buy a property his country was pushing to confiscate due to well-known corruption allegations against its then owner.
“Also unclear is why Mr Tinubu, who apparently wants to become Nigeria`s president, would agree to stay at the controversial property.
“As for Mr Buhari, it is yet unknown why he would visit Mr Tinubu at a property suspected to have been originally bought by Mr Aluko from the proceeds of alleged theft of Nigeria’s oil money.”
The report revealed that Oyetola was contacted for clarification but “ignored multiple requests for him to comment for this story. His spokespersons declined to revert days after they promised to do so.
“The spokespersons for Messrs Buhari and Tinubu also declined to comment on this report despite multiple requests by our reporters.”