Going by recent leaked by the now infamous Panama Papers, a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua, bought a posh home worth £890,000 in London using a secret offshore company he registered in the British Virgin Island.
Documents retrieved from the Mossack Fonseca database, exclusively obtained by German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with PREMIUM TIMES and other media organisations around the world, 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 April 2008, eight months after he became the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Yar’Adua used a London residence address at Beechwood Hall, Regents Park Road, London N3 3AT to register an offshore company, Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited in the British Virgin Island.
British Virgin Island is a tax haven favored by corrupt public officials, money launderers, celebrities and businessmen dealing in illicit finance.
Mr. Yar’Adua, while serving as a public official violated Section 6(b) of the Code of Conduct Act which says a public office holder shall not, “except where he is not employed on full‐time basis, engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade.”
To cover his track, Mr. Yar’Adua prepared a corporate smokescreen by appointing two front companies to act as directors of Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited.
Documents sighted by PREMIUM TIMES showed that on November 7, 2008, Mr. Yar’Adua was sole director of Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited.
He resigned on the said day but appointed two companies, Gudson Limited and Roselle Limited as directors of his company.
Additional documents scooped from the Mossack Fonseca files exposed how Mr. Yar’Adua utilized his Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited to secure a loan from Dexia Private Bank Limited in Jersey.
This he used to purchase a property worth £890,000 in London. Dexia Private Jersey Limited, Hydrocarbon Assets Investment Limited and Mr. Yar’Adua signed the loan agreement on November 18, 2008.
It was effected on December 2, 2008.
The property, until now a secret, is located in a freehold estate at 28A North Crescent, Finchley, London N3 3LL. It was registered under the title number NGL624398. A freehold property refers to outright ownership of a property and land on which it stands. The owner of the land has no time limit to his period of ownership.