Bukola Saraki: More problems over hidden assets

Bukola Saraki: More problems over hidden assets

Friday, April 8, 2016 12:09 pm

Senate President Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki

*London Guardian reveals hidden asset of Lagos Commissioner, Folorunso Coker

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his wife Toyin lied over the ownership of hidden assets blown open by documents from the massive Mossack Fonseca database.

Premium Times, the Nigerian partner  of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists  in possession of the data  obtained by the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, reported today that  documents of  assets in Toyin’s name in tax havens are actually held in trust for her husband Bukola Saraki.

In his asset declaration forms, Saraki had failed to disclose four assets found to be in his wife’s name offshore, in violation of Nigeria’s code of conduct law.

In his response to that publication, Mr. Saraki said the controversial assets belonged to the estate of his wife’s rich and famous family, and that the law did not mandate him to declare such a category of assets.

Sandon Development Limited and Number 8 Whittaker Street

One of the companies in Mrs Saraki’s name in Seychelles Island is Sandon Development Limited, a vehicle used in acquiring a property on 8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London, in 2012.  Another shareholder listed for that company is Babatunde Morakinyo, a long-term personal aide and friend of Mr. Saraki.

However fresh evidence has shown that Mrs. Saraki and Mr. Morakinyo were mere fronts, nominee directors holding assets in trust for the Senate president.

Girol Properties Ltd and Toyin the nominee director

Toyin Saraki: documents showed she was merely fronting for hubby

Toyin Saraki: documents showed she was merely fronting for hubby

Girol Properties Ltd, was registered on August 25, 2004 (a year after Mrs. Saraki’s husband became governor of Nigeria’s north-central state of Kwara) in the British Virgin Island (BVI).

Company documents show that Mrs. Saraki owns 25,000 numbers of shares with a par value of US$ 1,00 each, and was appointed the first and only director of the company.

Mrs Saraki however, in a letter to ICIJ, through her lawyers, denies ever owning any shareholding in Girol Properties.

But Pemium Times has now published a  document linking her firmly to the firm, as well as another handwritten document suggesting that Mrs Saraki was known within Mossack Fonseca as just a nominee director and not the beneficial owner of the company.

Landfield Ltd versus the voice of Toyin Saraki and the hand of Bukola Saraki

Landfield International Developments Ltd., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands on April 8, 2014, had Mrs. Saraki as sole shareholder.

But it is now clear she was a mere front, as Mr. Saraki has since discreetly taken over the company using Longmeadow Holdings Limited, another shell company registered in Jersey.

To effect the take-over, a board meeting of Landfield purportedly held on January 28, 2015, where it was agreed that the company be sold to Mr. Saraki for over three million pounds.

In a related development the London Guardian estimates the Belgravia property of Saraki at £5.7m.

Folorunso Coker: also named in Panama Papers

Folorunso Coker: also named in Panama Papers

The newspaper also revealed  a £1.65m townhouse in Kensington and Chelsea  belonging to a BVI company whose sole shareholder is Folorunsho Coker, the former head of the number plate production authority of  Lagos state and currently commissioner for tourism in the state. Coker’s lawyer, The Guardian reported,  said he had multiple sources of income and had always declared his interest in Satori Holdings to the Nigerian authorities.

Read More In Premium Times: Bukola Saraki’s hidden assets

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