Many Nigerian politicians have mansions. Many have them overseas, and London is a favourite location to purchase posh real estate for the elite ruling class.
A recent Bloomberg article reported that a company linked to the son of President-Elect Bola Tinubu purchased a mansion in London for approximately 11 million dollars in 2017. This is the same residence that President Muhammadu Buhari visited in 2021 several years after the purchase occurred.
The irony here is that the Buhari administration was working to confiscate this residence as part of a corruption probe, highlighting a major scandal in Nigerian politics. The report did not suggest that President-Elect Tinubu had any involvement in the purchase, but rather the firm that his son is a main shareholder in, executed the deal.
The mansion is located in the St. John’s Wood district in London, which is a prestigious neighbourhood favoured by American bankers. The property is nestled in a private area of the estate and sits behind a large electric gate with a driveway that can accommodate eight vehicles. The property is 7,000 square feet and boasts three levels, private lush gardens, and a fully equipped gym.
Billion Dollar Scandal
The drama that is swirling around this mansion goes all the way back to 2016. The property in question was allegedly purchased by the previous owner by way of illegal funds. In Buhari’s first term, the administration slapped a legal case against Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and two businessmen, Aluko and Olajide Omokore, who won lucrative contracts during Diezani’s tenure. The accusations centered around money laundering to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars.
Scandals are nothing new in Nigerian politics and have become commonplace. One thing is certain, politicians taste in real estate is top-notch.