Seyi Tinubu, son of Nigeria’s president-elect, has been reported to have acquired a UK mansion worth over N8 billion, linked to former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke’s associate, Kolawole Aluko, that the government of Muhammadu Buhari was making frantic effort to seize.
The property was bought in 2017 according to a report by Bloomberg at a time Seyi was 31 years of age.
He’s the son of Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu, who was Governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007.
Seyi was reported to have bought the house through his firm, Aranda Overseas Corp.
The property has been under investigation and the government has been making efforts to seize the property which was linked to Aluko, accused of being a front to Allison-Madueke, when she was Petroleum Minister.
Aranda Overseas Corp., is an offshore company, which reportedly paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the property in north London in late 2017, the report said.
It described the property as a private three-floor residence in St. John’s Wood, with the mansion equipped with an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates and a gym.
The report said at the time of purchase, Buhari had ordered a thorough investigation and had the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, pursuing forfeiture of the asset because the owner, Aluko, owed the Nigerian government $1.5 billion debt from oil-trading.
The Nigerian government believed Aluko bought the house through proceeds of fraud.
Yet despite ordering the EFCC to pursue a forfeiture on the property, Buhari had stayed in the house when Tinubu was recuperating after being hospitalised in August 2021, the report said.
It also revealed that a secret investigation per Pandora Papers, which leaked offshore companies data belonging to politically exposed persons reported that the shareholders and directors of Aranda from its formation 24 years ago until at least 2010 were Adegboyega Oyetola, the former governor of Osun state, and Elusanmi Eludoyin, head of a Nigerian property group.
Oyetola is Tinubu’s cousin from Iragbiji in present day Osun State. He lost his re-election bid in 2022 as Governor.
While the company registered as an overseas entity in the UK on January 20, Seyi was reported to have had control of British Virgin Islands-registered Aranda since June 2011.
Tinubu was not directly linked to the deal, the paper stated.