An associate of the Chatham House has exposed Nigerian politicians, past and present, no fewer than 344, linked to multi-billion choice properties in London and Dubai.
Added up, the 800 properties amount to $400m.
How they went about it, as revealed by Matthew Page, include payment of school fees, using proxies, relatives, couriers, and bureau de change.
Among the big shots named are: a Northwest governor; two former Deputy Presidents of the Senate; a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); 15 former ministers; one judge; 14 police, security and military chiefs; lawmakers; five staff members in the Presidency; 11 officers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); and 16 heads of departments and agencies.
Also on the list are 50 businessmen serving as fronts for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs); 158 suspected PEP proxies; and 13 known Nigerian law enforcement agency suspects.
Page on Tuesday presented these during in a presentation at a training session by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The Zoom session was tagged “Capacity building for investigators on investigating Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs)”.
Page’s paper focused on such flows through the Real Estate and Education sectors: Implications for investigators.”
On laundering in Dubai, Page said it has been possible for high-profile Nigerians because of “global nexus of IFFs, accessibility, permeability, reliability and affordability.”
He said the UAE had also been “reluctant to cooperate and share information.”
Further exposing the politicians, Page said a serving governor in the Northwest has eight Dubai properties ($5million), a former PDP national chairman acquired 11 Dubai and two London homes at $18million.
He said a former Deputy Senate President secured 14 Dubai properties at $12million and one of his successors bought eight Dubai assets and three UK properties at $15million.
He asked anti-corruption investigators in Nigeria to “examine bank transfers to Dubai, verify asset declarations, and investigate middlemen and property marketers.”
Citing those who have beaten the system, the investigator gave six examples of how top Nigerians allegedly used payment of school fees to launder money:
“Former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye was charged with corruption in 2007 and convicted in 2018. Despite facing corruption charges, he was able to send his children to UK boarding schools and universities. His children have not been implicated in any wrongdoing.) Estimated Fees Paid: £240,000+
“A senior Nigerian legislator who has been a career politician for the last 25 years had children attending independent British schools and universities. The politician also owns several high-end properties in United Kingdom. Estimated Fees paid: £665,000+
“In 2012, a British court convicted former Delta Sate governor James Ibori of fraud and money laundering. Despite this conviction, he continued to send his children to UK schools and universities. (Note: His children have not been implicated in any wrongdoing.) Estimated Fees paid: £286,000+
“A prominent career politician from Northern Nigeria with minimal income outside official earnings sent several children to UK private schools and universities. The politician’s spouse allegedly owns high-end property in the United Kingdom. Estimated Fees paid: £861,000+”
“A career Nigerian politician who has served in various government positions over two decades sent children to top British boarding schools and universities .The politician also owns high-end property in the United Kingdom. Estimated Fees paid: £447000+
“A prominent career politician from Southern Nigeria sent multiple children to top British boarding schools and universities. The politician also owns luxury property in the United Kingdom. Estimated Fees paid: £343,000+.”