Seyi Tinubu, the son of Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has been implicated in the acquisition of a London mansion which was under investigation for fraud by the Nigerian government.
According to Bloomberg, Seyi’s company, Aranda Overseas Corp, bought the property for $10.8 million (over ₦5 billion at the current official exchange rate) in 2017, and it is part of the largest corruption scandal that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has investigated, as reported by PulseNews.
At the time of purchase, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was trying to apprehend the former owner of the house, Kolawole Aluko, who was accused of evading an oil-trading debt worth over $1.5 billion.
Aranda, with Seyi as the main shareholder since 2011, bought the private three-floor residence from Deutsche Bank in late 2017.
Aluko had lost the house to the bank in a foreclosure a year before the sale happened. But the property was one of many assets a court in Nigeria had granted the EFCC permission to seize in 2016 over allegations the businessman acquired them through illicit means.
Aluko and his associate, Olajide Omokore, are two of the most high-profile suspects linked to the numerous corruption probes against the former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke. Prosecutors accused the duo of winning lucrative contracts from the former minister without fully remitting proceeds to the Nigerian treasury.
Aluko and Diezani were later removed from the court trial due to their absence, but a court cleared Omokore of all the allegations in February 2023. His lawyer, Tokunbo Jaiye-Agoro, told Bloomberg that his associate’s acquittal also exonerates him and removes question marks over the property in question.