Several prominent Nigerians and companies with hidden assets in Panama, a tax haven were on Thursday made public.
According to a leaked internal data of the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonsecca, no fewer than 110 Nigerians and companies have been accused to have stashed fortunes in Panama in a bid to avoid taxes, Premium Times reports.
The newspaper had listed some prominent personalities contained in the current list to include, the owner of telecommunication giant, Globacom, Mike Adenuga; Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sadiq Sani Bello and the late Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, Chairman of Arik Airlines, Joseph Arumemi-Johnson and his wife, Mary, as well as two serving senators, Andy Uba from Anambra, Ibrahim Gobir, Sokoto among others.
Since Mossack Fonsecca made the revelation of people with fortunes in the British Virgin Island of Panama and Seychelles on April 3, 2016, names of prominent Nigerians have continued to be linked to the list.
A rundown of Nigerians so far linked to the data base according to the newspaper include, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; President of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki; convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori; the boss of Oando, Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil firm, Wale Tinubu, and popular televangelist, Prophet T.B. Joshua who debunked the claim.
Some of the Nigerians linked to the list are public office holders which is in violation of the Nigerian law, having failed to declare their assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB.
The unprecedented year-long investigation involving 11.5 million secret documents which stretched from 1977 to December 2015 exposed the hidden underground of the world economy, a network of banks, law firms and other middlemen that use shell companies, sometimes to hide illegal wealth.