Following the release of the Pandora Papers (an investigative project carried out by a global International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ) strange revelations have begun to unfold in Nigeria after the name of Peter Obi (former governor of Anambra state) and about 21 other Nigerians were exposed to have assets worth millions of dollars in offshore accounts
In a bid to defend himself against the reports while appearing on Arise TV on Monday, Peter Obi claimed that politics made him poorer instead of making him become richer according to general consensus.
In his words, the former governor said: ” If there is anything to regret in my life, it will be my involvement in politics because it made me poorer. ”
In response to the Pandora Papers’ report which indicted him for involving in a notorious tax and secrecy havens in ways that breached the laws of Nigeria, and also garnering over $500m in offshore accounts, Peter Obi debunked it by saying that he has only 3% of the said amount in his offshore accounts which are savings for his children.
Peter Obi Said: ” Trust company is a legitimate vehicle used everywhere globally for investment, savings and estate planning purposes. In my Particular case and that of my family, it was done on very valuable advice of our then bankers, Loyce TSB. This is what they did for all their international clients who operated at the time i lived in the UK. They will help you to see that the formulated trust company offshore and that is what we did.
” This company was never used to launder money before, during and after till date. It wasn’ t used for anything during my time in office. It was strictly a trust company for savings and family planning that was used to support our borrowings which we even invested in this country. ”
In response to a question if he had $500 million in offshore accounts according to Pandora Papers, Obi replied:
” If you see more than 3% of that, in there, confiscate all my properties here and abroad.
” As a father, I save for my children, i save for my family and they Know” .
” If you go there and find more than 3%, about 3% which is about $15 million, if i bequeath my children $500 million, i have cursed them.
” There is money you bequeath People, you curse them. You bequeath them what is manageable so that they can start their life. If you see anything more than $15 million there, confiscate what i have overseas and here. ”
However, before the interview session came to an end, a viewer asked a question requesting to know the kind of business Peter Obi is into that enable him to have $15 million dollars (3% of $500m) in an offshore company account.
Peter Obi replied saying that before he became a governor, he was the sole engineer for an international beer company.
He also noted that he was also the sole importer of various fast moving consumer goods into Nigeria including wines and champagnes.
The former governor added that he was also a major shareholder in 3 major banks in Nigeria, amongst other businesses.