Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State, has denied allegations that he ran an offshore company and used it to purchase a property in the United Kingdom while serving as a government official following revelations from the Pandora Papers.
Governor Oyetola made the rebuttal in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Saturday.
According to Nigeria’s Premium Times, whose reporters were part of the more than 600 journalists in 117 countries trawling almost 12 million documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that reveal the hidden wealth and tax avoidance of rich and influential persons, Oyetola bought a mansion in London, the British capital, from Kola Aluko, an international fugitive, on behalf of Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while serving as Chief of Staff to ex-Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola.
The newspaper claimed that Oyetola purchased the property for £9 million in the name of his offshore company, Aranda Overseas Corporation, incorporated in the British Virgins Island, despite attempts by the Federal Government to confiscate the property following a Mareva injunction issued at a Federal High Court in Lagos after Aluko, who is currently on the run, was indicted by law enforcement agencies in Nigeria and the United States for collusion of alleged money laundering alongside Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum resources.
The online publication also alleged that the governor failed to resign as a director of his offshore company upon being appointed as a government official, with both actions violating Section 6 of Nigeria’s Code of Conduct Bureau Act.
But responding, Governor Oyetola said he never bought the said mansion in London, adding that he promptly resigned his position from the offshore company when he was appointed to serve in Osun State.
The statement read: “We have seen reports in some online media platforms concerning the Pandora Papers’ allegations. This is, therefore, to set the record straight.
“Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State, resigned his directorship of Aranda Overseas Corporation in 2011, when he took up the political appointment. He also surrendered his shareholding of the same company.
“Since 2011 to date, he has had no association, dealings and business transactions with the said company, as he is neither a director nor a shareholder of the said company. He, therefore, could not have acquired the said property in 2017, either directly or through the said company as being alleged.
“As a matter of fact, Oyetola has no relationship or link with the alleged owner of the property, Mr Kolawole Aluko, let alone go into a business dealing or transaction with him.
“He also complied fully with the law of the land by exiting Global Investments Offshore Ltd. as a Director in 2011, upon his appointment as the Chief of Staff to the immediate past governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola.”