The report seen on Tuesday, May 2, noted that during an investigation, Seyi was linked to the purchase of the London mansion under fraud investigation by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
It was alleged that the son of the former Governor of Lagos State purchased the house in 2017 for the sum of $10.8 million through his firm.
The report which cited previously unreported United Kingdom (UK) company documents, highlighted that the property in question, was acquired by Seyi’s firm and that it was part of the biggest corruption scandals the Nigerian government under the incumbent leadership was seeking to probe.
It further argued that Seyi is the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp., “an offshore company that paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the property in North London in late 2017.”
“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 report said.
It said at the time of the purchase, the Nigerian government was seeking to arrest the house’s former owner, accusing him of going on the run while owing the country an oil-trading debt worth more than $1.5 billion.
learned also from the report that the state was as well attempting to confiscate the upscale real estate and other assets it suspected had been acquired by the businessman, Kolawole Aluko, with the profits of crime.
Though the report could not mention whether President-elect, Tinubu, was personally involved in the acquisition of the UK property in 2017. It, however, observed that the outgoing president of Nigeria, Buhari visited Tinubu at the same place in August 2021, nearly four years after the purchase reportedly took place.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Tinubu would be sworn in as Nigeria’s next President on May 29, 2023.
Before now, Nigerians and many concerned bodies have repeatedly questioned Tinubu’s source of wealth, including throughout the recent election campaign, when he and his representatives were pressed about it by local and international media.
Bloomberg, however, said in the emerging report that Tinubu’s spokesman and Seyi failed to respond to emails, phone calls, and text messages seeking their comment on the London property under investigation.
It also said a British lawyer listed as Aranda’s agent in the UK declined to comment, citing confidentiality rules.
“In June 2016, a federal judge in the capital, Abuja, granted a request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to seize more than a dozen properties that Aluko had acquired in Nigeria and abroad, including the one in St. John’s Wood. That forfeiture order was still in force when Tinubu’s son bought the house out of receivership 16 months later.
“The ruling was made on an interim basis pending the conclusion of an investigation into Aluko that was still ongoing as of at least the end of 2018, according to court filings. Aluko can’t comment on the forfeiture case because it is still “sub-judice,” Seyi’s lawyer, Tokunbo Jaiye-Agoro said by email.