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Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
No fewer than 12 offshore companies have been linked to the Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC, Mr. Wale Tinubu, who is also a nephew of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
The companies include Sigma Technology Inc; Techventure Inc; Anglesey Management SA; Caine Trading Corp; Keligh Engineering Corp; Hud Trading Corps; Meridian Procurement International Services Ltd.; Lynx Shipping Ltd; Equinox Shipping Ltd; Everglade Oil Inc; Framlingham Ltd. and Triton Trading Ltd.
The latest revelation was contained in the leaked massive internal data belonging to Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca which was obtained by German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung.
According to documents sighted by Nigerian online newspaper, Premium Times, the Oando boss and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo, have been operating foreign accounts in tax havens for over seven years.
Tinubu, according to the documents, may have made huge returns from his shell companies in 2008 as he agreed to pay a front as much as $20,000 monthly to manage all of his offshore transactions.
Tinubu, documents showed, secured the services of Mossack Fonseca to help him incorporate the companies in Seychelles, one of the fastest growing offshore jurisdictions in the world and notorious tax haven, the British Virgin Islands.
The documents also revealed that Mossack Fonseca coordinated the operation through its offices in Geneva, the British Virgin Islands and Panama.
Investigation revealed that “Tinubu is either the sole director of most of the companies or has unlimited powers to make decisions.”
For instance, files from the data revealed that on November 26, 2009, after a meeting of the “board of directors” of one of his shell companies, Keligh Engineering Corp, Tinubu was granted a general power of attorney as the sole signatory of the company.
The “board meeting” where this decision was made was attended by three nominee directors, Yvette Rogers (Chairman), Jaqueline Alexander (secretary), Verna de Nelson, who are actually employees of Mossack Fonseca.
Rogers had also served as nominee director in Stanhope Investment Ltd., Seychelles, one of the shell companies used by the convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, to embezzle funds.
In May 2007, Just like Ibori, the Oando boss allegedly secured the services of Swiss asset management firm, Clamorgan SA, to help him incorporate Techventure Inc., Anglesey Management SA, Caine Trading Corp and Keligh Engineering in Seychelles while appointing Mossack Fonseca Geneva as registered agent and administrator for the shell companies.
When contacted for comment, the Corporate Communications Manager of Oando Plc, Alero Balogun, told our correspondent that she could not respond on behalf of Tinubu and Boyo as they were private individuals.
She said there was no evidence to show that the company was involved in any illicit act.
Balogun said, “They (Tinubu and Boyo) are private individuals accused of operating offshore accounts and I cannot respond on their behalf since the company is a separate legal entity.
“It is not stated in the report that the monies emanated from the company neither is it stated that the company itself was involved in any illicit act.”
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Source: Punch News