Oluwaseyi Tinubu, the son of Nigeria’s President-elect Bola Tinubu, has acquired a London mansion that was being targeted by the Nigerian government in connection to an alleged $1.6 billion fraud. Documents recently uncovered reveal that the offshore company owned by Oluwaseyi Tinubu paid Deutsche Bank about $10.8 million for the property in late 2017.
While there is no evidence that the incoming leader was involved in the acquisition of the property, it raises questions about the source of the Tinubu family’s wealth. This issue was raised during the campaign trail leading up to the February election.
According to Tinubu and his representatives, he made his wealth through successful investments and real estate inheritance before venturing into politics. In an interview with the BBC, he mentioned Warren Buffet as his role model in amassing his fortune.
Tinubu has faced corruption allegations in the past, which he denies. He forfeited $460,000 in 1993 to resolve a lawsuit in Chicago after US federal authorities claimed that bank accounts in his name contained proceeds from heroin trafficking. His lawyers have stated that he was never charged over the matter.
When Oluwaseyi Tinubu’s offshore company bought the London property, the Nigerian government, headed by his father’s ally President Muhammadu Buhari, was trying to seize it from Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko, who was accused of absconding while owing the country an oil-trading debt. Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency was also attempting to confiscate the mansion as one of several assets suspected of being acquired with the proceeds of crime.
The St. John’s Wood property, spread over three floors, includes an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates, and a gym, and is located in an area favored by American bankers.