The President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki has been named among 40 world politicians whose offshore hideaways were exposed by a new International Consortium of Investigative Journalists investigations tagged #Paradise Papers.
The papers — which were released Sunday by the ICIJ after being obtained by a German newspaper — include 13.4 million documents that detail offshore holdings by high-profile figures in the world.
It contains the names of more than 120,000 people and companies.Among those whose financial affairs are mentioned are Queen Elizabeth II, President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The leaked 1.4 terabyte data, now infamously dubbed Paradise Papers named Saraki as a director and a shareholder of Tenia Ltd., a company established in the Cayman Islands in April 2001.
Appleby’s records describe Tenia Ltd. as a “holding company.”
In August 2013, Appleby had recorded Saraki’s company as “low” risk and listed the company’s address as 30 Saka Tinubu Street on Victoria Island in Lagos, which his lawyers said was rented by him.
In 2016, Nigerian officials obtained a search warrant on the property, as part of an investigation examining alleged false declaration of assets, according to local media.
In June 2017, Code of Conduct tribunal CCT dismissed charges against him of having falsely declared assets, but Nigeria’s federal government vowed to appeal. Tenia Ltd was listed as active as of 2015.
“There is nothing unlawful in the ownership of offshore companies,” Saraki’s lawyers told ICIJ, adding that Tenia Ltd. was incorporated two years before Saraki was elected as governor.