There are strong indications that Senate President, Bukola Saraki, may be having more sleepless nights as the Presidency has ordered an investigation into his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal.
Saraki is not alone in this scandal as his predecessor, Senator David Mark, alongside many other top government functionaries are to face probe by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB.
According to reports by PREMIUM TIMES, the CCB chairman, Sam Saba confirmed that the Presidency forwarded names of some persons mentioned in the Panama Papers, to the agency for investigation.
“I want to let you know that government has written to us and given us some names based on what they have been reading and hearing regarding that document,” Mr. Saba said.
Saba, who did not disclose the names of the affected public officers said his Bureau, after studying the papers, has questions for some public officers in the country.
“I think it (Panama Papers) is going to be helpful because already we have some questions for certain public officers, which I will not be able to disclose at the moment. Until they finish answering those questions, I may not be able to discuss it,” he said.
The CCB boss said the agency took some time to respond because it could not secure the leaked documents.
“I tried to access the document via the internet but I was required to subscribe and pay some money, which I didn’t have. That was what stalled our effort at the time. But I later asked my counterpart in the ICPC if he was in the picture and he replied in the negative. He, however, advised me to approach PREMIUM TIMES.”
Premium Times, which identified at least 110 Nigerians and companies operating offshore shell companies in tax havens, had published leaked papers from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonsecca, which were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The 2.6 TB files, involving 214,488 entities, exposed incredible secrets of the underworld economy, where a network of banks, law firms and other middlemen utilize shell companies, sometimes to hide illegal wealth.
Besides Bukola Saraki and David Mark, other persons mentioned in this high profile scandal include former minister for national planning, Rasheed Gbadamosi, former Delta State governor, James Ibori, a former group managing director, NNPC, Abubakar Yar’Adua, Senators Andy Uba (Anambra) David Umaru (Niger), and Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto).
Four assets listed in the secret offshore accounts carry Mr. Saraki’s name, but the embattled Senate President failed to disclose them in violation of Nigeria’s Code of Conduct law, while ex-Senate president, Mark, has links with eight offshore companies in British Virgin Island as shown by the leaked database of Mossack Fonseca.
Gbadamosi, who owns two expensive and luxurious penthouses in Panama, a notorious tax haven, was recently appointed co-chairman of the Lagos at 50 planning committee, and bought the two properties in 2008, while serving as chairman of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
Ibori, is found to have established limited liability companies and foundations in secret offshore tax havens to hide some of the funds he looted from the state’s treasury, a leak of secret tax documents has revealed.
The former governor, who is currently serving jail term in the United Kingdom after pleading guilty to fraud charges in 2012, enlisted his immediate family as beneficiaries of the offshore companies and foundations.
Yar’Adua bought a posh home worth £890,000 in London using a secret offshore company he registered in the British Virgin Island. Leaked files showed the offshore company to be Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited.
Mr. Yar’Adua bought the house in 2008, while serving as the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. He became NNPC GMD in August 2007, and was removed from office in January 2009.
In November 2004, Mr. Uba was only a special assistant on domestic affairs to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, but he possibly had enormous wealth in his hands that he sought the services of the offshore handlers, Mossack Fonseca, to float for him an anonymous company.
Now a serving senator, Mr. Uba, owns a shell company by name Wentworth Properties Limited in the Republic of Seychelles, an infamous tax haven.
Andy Uba’s net worth was insignificant before May 29, 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as president. He later returned from the United States to be appointed a presidential aide.
In his native Niger State, David Umaru, the All Progressives Congress, APC, senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, is something of a folk hero. He was a thorn under the skin of the immediate past administration of Governor Babangida Aliyu. He was an unwavering critic and soon gained the reputation of a whistleblower after be published series of advertorials in national newspapers exposing alleged corrupt practices by the Mu’azu Babangida administration.
While,Ibrahim Gobir, another All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmaker, though representing Sokoto East Senatorial District in the National Assembly has also been named in the leaked document as having secret offshore accounts.

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