According to reports, a former minister for National Planning owns two expensive and luxurious penthouses in Panama, according to documents from the leaked Mossack Fonseca database.
Mr. Rasheed Gbadamosi, who was recently appointed co-chairman of the Lagos at 50 planning committee, bought the two properties in 2008, while serving as chairman of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). The report said he paid a staggering N836.8 million ($2.6 million) for the penthouses located in a swanky tower in Panama.
The report revealed how an official of Mossack Fonseca law firm said in one correspondence that Gbadamosi was so enamoured, and in so much haste to acquire the exotic properties that he once offered to fly to Panama in a private jet to inspect them.
Details of Gbadamosi’s luxury acquisitions were part of the internal data of the Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, obtained by the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with over 100 other media partners in 82 countries.
According to the documents, sometime in early 2008, the former minister approached Gilberto Aleman, a Panamanian real estate broker, to help him secure two posh penthouses owned by Nicolas Corcione, owner of Ciclones Corporation Inc and Cosmopolitan Corp, the companies under which the properties were registered.
Valued at N436,800,000 ($1,365,000.00), Penthouse 1, the first penthouse Gbadamosi bought, is located in Ocean Park Tower 2, and consists of a surface area of 537.33 square meters, on floors 35 and 36 of the Tower.
The property is registered under the ownership of Ciclones Corporation Inc. The second penthouse, Penthouse 5, is located in the same building as the first, Ocean Park Tower. It consists of a surface area of 479.88 square meters, on the 39th floor of the building. It is registered under the ownership of Cosmopolitan Corp. Ocean Park Tower 2, which was completed in 2006, is one of the most expensive residences in Panama City.
Gbadamosi was chairman of the board of PPPRA between May 2003 and December 2009. He was chairman of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Committee (PPPRC), PPPRA’s predecessor, from March 2001 to May 2003. Under Nigerian law, acquiring assets abroad is not illegal, but according to the Fifth Schedule of the constitution, chairmen and members of the Boards or other governing bodies and staff of statutory corporations and of companies owned by the Federal, State or local governments councils must declare their assets on assumption of duty and on leaving office.
Apart from declaring their assets, appointees are also expected to justify the sources of income for whatever additional assets are acquired in-between commencement of duties and departure from office.
It remained unclear at the time of this report whether Gbadamosi declared his interest in the two penthouses to the Code of Conduct Bureau.