Nigeria: Pandora Papers - EFCC Summons Obi, Moves to Probe Kebbi, Osun, Ogun Govs

17 October 2021

A former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has been summoned for questioning by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his secret assets and financial deals exposed in Pandora Papers.

Pandora Papers is the biggest leak of 11.9 million documents from offshore services providers, detailing the secret offshore accounts of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state as well as more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders including Nigerians.

The news organizations under the platform of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) described the document leak as their most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet, containing documents, images, emails and spreadsheets from 14 financial service companies, in nations including Panama, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, surpassing their previous release of the Panama Papers in 2016, which had 11.5 million confidential documents (2.6 terabytes).

It was learnt that the EFCC communicated the invitation to Obi during the week and he has been asked to report at the agency's Abuja headquarters on October 27, 2021 to face a team of investigators.

It will be recalled that the report exposed how Obi incorporated offshore holdings, which he did not declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau when he served as a governor and how he continued to manage his Next International UK Limited 14 months after becoming a governor. In addition, he also continued to operate a foreign account as a governor.

However, a source at the anti-graft agency disclosed to an online newspaper, PremiumTimes, that the Pandora Papers revelations only served as a lead for investigators and that "a number of issues" are now being investigated regarding Obi and his offshore dealings.

Apart from the former Anambra governor, the acting NPA MD, Mohammed Bello-Koko, and former minister and serving senator, Stella Oduah, have been pointed mentioned in the report.

Others included Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State as well as his associates including former Lagos Bola Tinubu, and Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun.

It was also reported how children of a former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and billionaire Leno Adesanya, perfected offshore deals under shady circumstances.

LEADERSHIP further learnt from the EFCC headquarters that apart from Obi, all other names mentioned in the Pandora Papers will be face investigation whether serving or not.

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