In definite contravention of extant regulations, Dapo Abiodun, the govtgovernor of Ogun Verbalize, is director of now not much less than two offshore companies whereas also operating a foreign myth.
An investigation by PREMIUM TIMES and its companions showed that the governor will seemingly be the final functional proprietor of the companies incorporated within the British Virgin Islands.
We had been also ready to make a selection that he didn’t expose the companies and no matter assets they withhold in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Habits Bureau.
The investigation is share of the global International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)-led Pandora Papers mission, in which PREMIUM TIMES is a key participant.
The mission saw 600 journalists from 150 info organisations spherical the field poring by a trove of 11.9 million confidential recordsdata, contextualising files, tracking down sources and analysing public records and deal of paperwork.
The leaked recordsdata had been retrieved from some offshore companies and products companies spherical the field that put up shell companies and deal of offshore entities for customers, deal of them influential politicians, businesspersons and criminals, ostensibly in desperate moves to masks their financial dealings.
The 2-300 and sixty five days collaboration has to this point revealed the financial secrets and systems of now not much less than 40 most modern and archaic world leaders, and more than 330 public officers in extra than 91 worldwide locations.
READ ALSO: PANDORA PAPERS: Inside of the precious deal between Sambo Dasuki’s family and a billionaire govt. contractor
The paperwork reviewed by this newspaper showed that Mr Abiodun is the one real director and functional proprietor of Marlowes Shopping and selling Company, a firm operating beneath the regulations of the British Virgin Island.
The governor equally owns and didn’t expose Heyden Petroleum Restricted, but another BVI firm registered offshore.
Mr Abiodun and his Marlowes
On deciding to place up an offshore structure in a tax haven and secrecy-enabling jurisdiction, Mr Abiodun hired Dubai-basically based mostly mostly SFM Corporate Services for advice and execution. SFM Corporate Services specialises in belief and offshore firm formation companies and products, offshore bank myth opening and linked companies and products.
It became SFM Corporate Services that in turn hired Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (alcogal), a Panamanian secrecy seller, to incorporate Marlowes Shopping and selling Company for Mr Abiodun.
After some abet and forth between SFM and Alcogal, the offshore firm became incorporated within the British Virgin Island on January 12, 2015, registration paperwork viewed by PREMIUM TIMES showed.
Mr Abiodun became then appointed sole director and shareholder of the firm. The businessman became also issued a fraction certificates #1.
In March 2015, on the completion of the registration of the firm, Alcogal sent copies of the unique entity’s paperwork to SFM Corporate companies and products in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The paperwork embody the firm’s Memorandum and Articles of Affiliation, certificates of incorporation, evidence of appointment of Mr Abiodun as first director, resolutions of the one real director adopting the firm seal and authorising the issuance of shares, Share certificates No. 1 issued in favour of “Mr Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun”, Copies of the Registers of People and Administrators and a rubber seal.
The character of industry Marlowes engages in stays unclear. Nonetheless it has persevered to honest out of the Dubai put of job of SFM Corporate Services located at The H Dubai-Place of work Building, Sheikh Zayed Toll road, Dubai. Essentially the most well-known contact person for the company is one Samuel Kim Oh.
Heyden in Nigeria, Heyden in tax haven
Other than Marlowes, paperwork also repeat that Mr Abiodun also owns Heyden Petroleum Restricted, which shares the name with a Nigerian firm he also owns. He established the Nigerian version of Heyden in 2001.
Foremost aspects of a letter dated March 21, 2016, showed that the governor is the one real functional proprietor of Heyden BVI.
Nonetheless, within the letter, addressed to SFM Corporate Services, Mr Abiodun notified the company of his resolution to grant one Okechukwu Chikezie Nzelum the authority to “handle exclusively all administrative requests relating to the Company.”
The governor notorious, however, that the talked about Chikeziem “is now not permitted to capture the firm commercially.”
PREMIUM TIMES stumbled on that neither of the 2 companies became made public within the asset declaration produce by Mr Abiodun upon assumption of put of job as Ogun Verbalize governor in 2019, in definite contravention of the provisions of the constitution.
Half 11 of the fifth time desk of the Nigerian constitution states that topic to the provisions of the constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the arriving into power of the Code of Habits or out of the blue after taking put of job and thereafter, put up to the Code of Habits Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and contributors of his unmarried kids beneath the age of eighteen years.
In sub-share 2 of the identical share, the law states that: “Any assertion in such declaration that is stumbled on to be false by any authority or person permitted in that behalf to substantiate it will be deemed to be a breach of this Code.”
It thereafter declared that “any property or assets obtained by a public officer after any declaration required beneath this Structure and which is now not fairly attributable to profits, reward, or mortgage authorized by this Code will be deemed to had been obtained in breach of this Code except the other is proved.”
Mr Abiodun and His International Account
Along with his ownership of BVI companies, paperwork reviewed by this newspaper showed that Mr Abiodun also runs a Swiss bank myth.
Foremost aspects of the Swiss bank myth had been viewed by this newspaper in a letter forwarded by UBS AG, a Swiss multinational funding bank and financial companies and products firm, to SFM Corporate Services.
In the letter, dated March 10, 2016, and signed by one Okenna Nzelu, the relationship supervisor, UBS affirmed that Mr Abiodun had been a shopper of the bank since September 2014. The bank added that the governor maintains his myth “satisfactorily” and had no prominent debt.
UBS is basically based mostly mostly in Switzerland and co-headquartered within the cities of Zürich and Basel. The bank maintains a presence in all valuable financial centres as the greatest Swiss banking institution and the greatest inner most bank on the earth.
Equally, an Ikeja Electric bill dated December 2014 became submitted by the governor, ostensibly as share of due diligence requirements for myth opening and firm registration.
In maintaining with Half 7 of the Code of Habits Bureau and Tribunal Act, distinct public put of job holders are barred from putting forward foreign accounts.
“Any public officer specified within the 2d Agenda to this Act or any deal of contributors as the President could per chance per chance furthermore, continuously, by expose prescribe, shall now not withhold or honest a bank myth in any nation out of doors Nigeria,” the share states.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria became also explicit in its provisions.
In paragraph 3 of the fifth time desk, the constitution states that “the President, Vice-President, Governor, Deputy Governor, Ministers of the Authorities of the Federation and Commissioners of the Governments of the States, people of the National Assembly and of the Homes of Assembly of the States, and this kind of lot of public officers or contributors as the National Assembly could per chance per chance furthermore by law prescribe shall now not withhold or honest a bank myth in any nation out of doors Nigeria.”
The sport of maintaining mum
For deal of weeks, Mr Abiodun declined to commentary on PREMIUM TIMES’ findings. Messages and emails sent to his slightly a pair of emails and get in contact with numbers had been now not responded to. Messages sent to his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, had been also now not responded.
An affiliate of Mr Abiodun however told regarded as one of our newshounds that the non declaration of the companies and the parable became an oversight by the governor.
“The governor has nothing to masks,” talked about the legitimate who asked now not to be named ensuing from he’s now not Mr Abiodun’s legitimate spokesperson. “He has asked the companies to be dissolved ensuing from he now now not wants them. He did now not know that it had now not been performed.”
Mr Abiodun, a businessman cum politician, changed into Ogun governor on May per chance per chance 29, 2019, after several makes an strive to be elected to political put of job.
In 1998, Mr Abiodun contested and won the Ogun East Senatorial seat on the platform of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Celebration. The victory became, however, truncated by political developments within the nation.
He later joined the Peoples Democratic Celebration in 1999 as a founding member on which platform he contested within the primaries for the governorship mark in Ogun Verbalize in 2002 and misplaced out within the contest.
In 2015, Mr Abiodun threw himself into the Ogun East Senatorial bound as the flag-bearer of the All Modern Congress (APC) and misplaced all over again.
In 2018, he contested for and won the governorship mark of the APC, culminating in his eventual victory within the overall elections and emergence as the fifth elected governor of Ogun Verbalize.
Improve PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Fair correct journalism prices slightly a pair of money. But most tremendous appropriate journalism can make distinct the chance of a appropriate society, an to blame democracy, and a clear authorities.
For persevered free get right of entry to to the supreme investigative journalism within the nation we demand you to take into myth making a modest fortify to this accurate endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you’re helping to retain a journalism of relevance and guaranteeing it stays free and accessible to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie 2347088095401…