Saharareporters discovers trails of OBJ/Uba loot…Andy
Uba screened out of Yar'Adua's ministerial list.
Saharareporters has discovered highly irregular
business schemes that beam a light on the methods used
by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his former
aide, Emmanuel Nnamdi (Andy) Uba to siphon public
Saharareporters investigations have revealed that Obasanjo and Uba
used front companies to open foreign accounts into
which huge amounts of funds were deposited before they
were then moved out to the Cayman Islands, Jersey and parts of the Carribean.
The schemes involved a Nigerian born British citizen,
Lillian Nwoko whose modus operandi was akin to that of
Loretta Mabinton, the Portland, Oregon-based attorney
who served as a money-laundering front for Andy Uba
before she was caught by the US secret service.
Lillian Nwoko similarly helped Andy Uba to register
companies in the UK which were then used to open
foreign bank accounts for money laundering purposes.
Each company was then voluntarily closed. Three of
such companies were registered with the address as
259A Grays Inn Road in London, UK.
Lillian Nwoko was named as the secretary in the three companies.
The first company, UNIC Securities Limited, was formed
in September 2000. Its business was declared as “cargo
handling and business consultancy.” Lillian Nwoko was
listed as the secretary. There were two other
directors, Ibrahim Hauwa and Dr. Lame Ibrahim Yakubu,
fronting for Andy Uba. The two directors gave their
address as Plot 1503 Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3,
The UK company house report indicated that the
company did not file any financial reports before it
was dissolved in July 2003.
The two other companies, SENTREX Ventures Limited and
Fontana Ventures Limited, were incorporated on the
same date and have Andy Uba and Lillian Nwoko as the main
directors. Andy Uba used Plot 772 Ibrahim Taiwo Road
Asokoro, Abuja as his address. He gave his date of
birth as December 14, 1958 and his citizenship as
Canadian. Incidentally, Plot 772 Ibrahim Taiwo Road
was the same address to which Loretta Mabinton (Andy
Uba's lady accomplice in the Portland, Oregon money
laundering scandal) shipped the Mercedes Benz she
bought for Andy Uba with proceeds of laundered cash
brought to the US on former President Obasanjo's
presidential jet. The US Secret Service initially
confiscated the Mercedes Benz, releasing it only after
Uba paid a fine of $26,000.
SENTREX and FONTANA Ventures Limited merely gave the
nature of their business as “other businesses.” The
two companies, which didn't file any financial
reports, were also dissolved in 2003.
A financial fraud expert who asked to remain anonymous
told Saharareporters that the formation and
dissolution of companies without filing financial
statements was “highly suspicious.” The expert, who
lives in England, said “such practices are used to
avoid detection by the prying eyes of the public.” One
source in Abuja told us that the method “is consistent
with former president Obasanjo's style of corruption,”
adding that the former president’s hidden assets were
“in the billions of dollars.”
Meanwhile, Andy Uba appears unable to buy any reprieve
from his political misfortunes.
On June 14, the Supreme Court kicked Uba out of the
governorship seat he usurped in Anambra, ruling that
incumbent Governor Peter Obi has the constitutional
mandate to remain in office till March 2010.
Following his judicial defeat, Uba reportedly hopped
in his multi-million dollar Gulf Stream private jet
and flew to see Obasanjo in Ota to bemoan his ordeal.
Obasanjo reportedly sent him to see Umar Musa Yar'adua
to make a case for his inclusion in the yet-to-be
If Andy Uba seriously expected to get a ministerial
spot, he was in for a huge disappointment. Yar'adua
refused to see him, instead directing that Secretary
to the Government Baba Gana Kingibe meet with him to
discuss his concerns. When Andy met with Kingibe the
next day, he was confronted with the government’s
concern that he bought a house within the premises of
the Presidential Villa that houses some security
gadgets meant to safeguard the Villa.
Broaching the issue of his ministerial appointment,
Uba told Kingibe that he wished to withdraw the name
of his brother and former Senator Ugochukwu Uba, one
of two names he had nominated for ministerial
appointment. Uba’s other nominee is Jerry Ugokwe. In
place of his brother, he told Kingibe, he now wanted
to put in his name.
According to our source, Senator Uba’s nomination was
already troubled even before Andy Uba’s attempt to
remove his brother’s name. Yar’Adua’s closest advisers
had counseled against rewarding Ugochukwu Uba who was
implicated in bribing two of the three judges of the
Federal Court of Appeal assigned to determine whether
he was the rightful winner of a senatorial seat in
2003. The bribery charges came to light after the two
judges read a majority verdict that gave the contested
seat to Senator Uba. The two judges were subsequently
dismissed from the bench.
As soon Andy Uba finished making a case for a
ministerial position, Kingibe told him that he must
head for the PDP secretariat to tell the press that he
has accepted the judgment of the Supreme Court. The
secretary to the government made it clear that Uba’s
public acceptance of the verdict was a precondition
for responding to his request. Kingibe also asked that
Andy Uba give him time to consult with Umar Musa
By the time Andy Uba returned from the Wadata Plaza
headquarters of the PDP, Baba Gana Kingibe asked him
to furnish his office with certified copies of his
degree certificates. Our source said Uba was stunned
by the demand, and seemed to realize that his
ministerial dreams had been torpedoed. Investigations
by Saharareporters had revealed that Uba, who claims
to hold a PhD in science, has lied about his academic
qualifications. He does not have even a first degree.
When Kingibe insisted that hard copies of his degrees
would be required to consider him for any ministerial
appointment, Uba replied that an Abuja High court
headed by Justice Babs Kewunmi had already ruled in
his favor in a case inspired by his certificate scam.
Unimpressed, Baba Gana Kingibe told Andy Uba that
degrees are issued by universities, not courts.
A forlorn Uba was said to have explored the
possibility of becoming the chairman of the ruling
party since the position has been zoned to the
southeast zone. Kingibe then made it clear that the
government was unlikely to support his chairmanship
bid, citing his unresolved controversies.
After the meeting, Uba hurriedly left Abuja for the
Southeast where he tried to rally his supporters with
a pep talk. He also used the occasion to settle hotel
bills and other debts incurred by his numerous
hangers-on in various hotels and restaurants. Uba’s
campaign had attracted many such hangers-on, many of
them US-based “expatriates” and “consultants” who
relocated to Awka in the hope of making quick money
off of Andy Uba. Uba, who bragged that he was going to
transform Anambra State, put his parasitic praise
singers in hotels and encouraged to hang around until
he settled in as “governor.”
With the Supreme Court kicking him out last week, he is reported to be
anxious to cut his dependents loose.