A former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua, bought a posh house worth £890,000 in London using a secret offshore company he registered in the British Virgin Island.
Documents retrieved from the Mossack Fonseca and exclusively obtained by German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with Premium Times and other media organisations around the world, indicated the offshore company to be Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited.
Yar’Adua bought the house in 2008, while serving as the Group Managing Director of NNPC. He became NNPC GMD in August 2007, and was removed from office in January 2009.
In April 2008, eight months after he became the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Yar’Adua used a London residence address at Beechwood Hall, Regents Park Road, London N3 3AT to register an offshore company, Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited in the British Virgin Island.
British Virgin Island is a tax haven favoured by corrupt public officials, money launderers, celebrities and businessmen dealing in illicit finance.
He allegedly prepared a corporate smokescreen by appointing two front companies to act as directors of Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited.
I didn’t know what I did was wrong.
When Mr. Yar’Adua was contacted, he initially claimed his lawyer registered the company on his behalf, but later admitted he incorporated the company to buy a house in London. He suggested that the Premium Times’ report on the matter was an attempt to embarrass him.