Senate President Bukola Saraki has allegedly been listed as one of the five owners of “unexplained wealth” in the UK that are currently being investigated by the UK government. Britain’s new law, Unexplained Wealth Orders, which became effective from January 31, seeks to investigate ownership of properties of some individuals that are suspected to have been acquired using funds from corrupt practices.
Other persons listed by Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), according to Transparency International UK, are first family of Azerbaijan with estimated property value of £18 million; Igor Shuvalov, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister with estimated property value of £11.44 million; Ahmed Mahmoud Azwai, former Libyan Major General with property valued at £1 million; Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan with property worth £8 million at least.
Transparency UK alleges that Saraki’s properties listed on the unexplained wealth are worth £9 million and £6 million and are located at 7 and 8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London.
According to the report by UWOs, Land Registry documents show that these two addresses are owned by Landfield International Developments Limited and Renocon Property Development Limited. UWOs said that according to data released as part of the Panama Papers, these companies were controlled by Toyin Saraki, wife of Saraki as well as one of his personal aides.
“Based on current market estimates by Zoopla, the properties are worth a combined total of around £15 million. The report is particularly useful where there is no realistic prospect of cooperation or conviction in the country of origin, but there are sufficient grounds for suspicion that an asset has been acquired with the proceeds of corruption”, UWOs noted.
It said “based on open source information, we have pulled together five cases where we believe law enforcement should consider using UWOs in forming a case for civil recovery proceedings against potentially illicit wealth.”
Saraki is yet to react to these claims.