At least 110 Nigerian individuals and companies have so far been identified by PREMIUM TIMES in the leaked internal data of Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonsecca, as operators of offshore shell companies in tax havens.
Prominent among the new names being revealed today, in addition to the several that were published in the past one month, are the founder of telecommunication company, Globacom, Mike Adenuga; Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sadiq Sani Bello and the late Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, among others.
The list also contained names of Arik Chairman, Joseph Arumemi-Johnson and his wife, Mary, as well as two serving senators – Andy Uba (Anambra) and Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto).
Other top business persons, politicians, and their family members were also found in the infamous database, including those currently holding public offices. See full list below.
The publication details names of companies, their owners and the particular tax havens the offshore firms are domiciled.
PREMIUM TIMES is the only Nigerian media organisation with exclusive access to the documents obtained by German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with over 80 media organisations around the world.
Since April 3, 2016, when the news of the unprecedented leak broke worldwide, PREMIUM TIMES has published series of exclusive reports about the offshore assets of prominent Nigerians named in the database that is now globally referred to as #PanamaPapers. Some of them, who are public officer holders, held the assets in violation of Nigerian law, failing to declare them to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
The investigation revealed the assets of some of Nigeria’s most powerful individuals, including Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote; President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki; convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori; the boss of Oando, Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil firm, Wale Tinubu, in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama, and Seychelles.
The unprecedented year-long investigation involving 11.5 million secret documents – which stretch from 1977 to December 2015 – exposed the hidden underground of the world economy, a network of banks, law firms and other middlemen that utilize shell companies, sometimes using them to hide illegal wealth.
The 2.6 TB files, involving 214,488 entities, also revealed hundreds of details about how former gun-runners, contractors and other members of the spy world use offshore companies for personal and private gain.
The investigation unveiled the cloak of secrecy provided by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specializes in creating offshore companies, some of which have been used by con men and women to hide Ponzi schemes, predatory lending scams, and other financial frauds from their victims and from the authorities.
The use of shell companies is not illegal and there are individuals and firms who incorporate them for purely legitimate purposes.