Tinubu’s Son Is the Owner of $10.8m Fraud-Linked London Mansion Under Investigation By PMB

May 3, 2023

3 min readCategories: News

ACCORDING TO BLOOMBERG, the 37-year-old son of Nigeria’s President-elect Bola Tinubu acquired a London mansion that the country’s government – which his father helped bring to power – was trying to seize over an alleged $1.6 billion fraud.

Previously unreported corporate documents show that Oluwaseyi Tinubu owns an offshore company that paid Deutsche Bank about $10.8 million for the property in late 2017. The lender had taken over the house from Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko through a foreclosure.

There’s no suggestion that the incoming leader was personally involved in the acquisition, yet it feeds into questions about the source of the Tinubu family’s wealth that were raised on the campaign trail ahead of February’s election.

Nigeria’s next head of state and his representatives have said he made his fortune before going into politics by inheriting real estate, investing well, and working as an accountant and oil executive in the 1980s and early 1990s. In an interview with the BBC in the run-up to the vote, Tinubu cited Warren Buffett as an example he followed to become rich.

Tinubu has faced allegations of graft in the past, which he denies. In 1993, he forfeited $460,000 to resolve a lawsuit in Chicago after US federal authorities said that bank accounts in his name held the proceeds of heroin trafficking. His lawyers have said he was never charged over the matter.

When Oluwaseyi Tinubu’s company bought the real estate in 2017, the government of his father’s ally — President Muhammadu Buhari — was seeking to arrest Aluko, accusing him of going on the run while owing the country an oil-trading debt.

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency was also attempting to confiscate the mansion as one of more than a dozen assets it suspected had been acquired by the businessman with the profits of crime.

Aluko denies all allegations of wrongdoing and says a court judgment earlier this year acquitting a former business partner has cleared his name.

The private three-floor residence in St. John’s Wood — a district favored by American bankers — is equipped with an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates and a gym.

The mansion, located in North London, was reportedly bought by the 37-year-old son of the former Governor of Lagos State in 2017, and his father received President Muhammadu Buhari at the house in 2021.

It was said that the house, which was being investigated for seizure by the Nigerian government because of its link with fraud proceeds by a Nigerian citizen, Mr Kola Aluko, was purchased by the younger Mr Tinubu through an offshore company, Aranda Overseas Corporation, which paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the mansion, which sits on a 7,000-square foot land.

Bloomberg described Mr Seyi Tinubu as the main shareholder of Aranda, which documents from the Pandora Papers leak of offshore companies data showed that the former Governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, who is also a relative of the President-elect, was on the board until 2010.

Bloomberg said the younger Mr Tinubu, according to documents filed this year in response to new anti-money laundering rules in the UK because it was registered on January 20 as an overseas entity in the UK, has been in control of British Virgin Islands-registered Aranda since June 2011.

Meanwhile, Starnews Nigeria reports that Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared the winner of the presidential election held on Saturday, February 25, 2023, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

His contenders have challenged his victory, Mr Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), at the presidential election tribunal.

Credit: Bloomberg

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About the Author: Olumide Akinrinlola

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