The world was taken by a huge storm on Sunday, while Nigerians were still crying over our hideous fuel scarcity crises, and the lovers of American politics were pondering “Trump or Cruz” “Hillary or Sanders”. A much bigger fish swam into our nets and it seems it is now a big threat to the same net that caught it.
Well, for those still in oblivion, I am referring to a recent scandal currently rocking world’s politics popularly known as “Panama Papers Leaks”.
In other to make you, our esteemed readers stay abreast of this recent scandal rocking the world. We at Edliner have put up five things we have learnt so far from this scandal that started on Sunday April 3rd 2016.
- Origin of the Scandal: The world knew about this crises when a 2.6 terabytes of information (an estimate of 11.5 million papers) containing hard evidence of assets and offshore financial transactions of World leaders and present/past government executives, was received from a German Newspaper (Suddeutsche Zeitung) from an unknown source and it was shared with the international consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ).
- Magnitude of the leak: the leak is one of the biggest ever- larger than the US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks in 2010, and the secret intelligence documents given to journalist by Edward Snowden in 2013. Even our own ‘Dasuki Gates’, ‘Ekiti Gates’ can’t be compare to the Panama leak in terms of damages it can cause to the individuals and countries involved.
- World leaders involved: the list of countries and leaders whose names were mentioned in the link is still adding up, as we await more updates from ‘The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Popular among countries and leaders mentioned are Mauricio Macri (President of Argentina), Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson (Prime Minister of Iceland), Salman, (King of Saudi Arabia).
- Nigerian leaders mentioned in the leak: am going to start this with our very own ‘High Chief’ James Ibori, that is currently doing time in the UK; thinking he can fool us by hiding some of his assets with our now infamous Panama company, so he will still have plenty of wealth to enjoy when he is out of prison. Well, “God don catch you”.
Another popular Nigerian name involved in the leaks is our number 3 citizen, senate president Dr. Bukoka Saraki. Though his name is not officially mentioned in the leak, however; there are traces of his assets that can be found in the documents. Perhaps, in due time, the team of investigative journalists investigating the leaks might release his name officially.
- Putin is the main target of the leak: The Russian government has already said it was “obvious” President Vladimir Putin was the main target of the Panama Papers leak. Whether or not the objective of the leak was to smear the Russian president, the findings showed a $2 billion trail of secret offshore deals and loans all pointing toward Putin.
In conclusion, the leak does not involve only Nigerians, so the normal Nigerian “Hot Case – Cold Case “syndrome won’t affect this scandal, as we expect heads to roll. Also, we expect the Code of Conduct Tribunal to stay on top of this leak and get as much evidence in their case against Dr. Saraki as possible.
We are Nigerians, and we are watching.