SaharaReporters has learned that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigerian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to investigate, document, and submit the list of all Nigerian public officials with assets in the UAE. Our sources said Mr. Buhari had also set a deadline of March 31, 2016 for the completion of the compilation.
The presidential deadline comes on the heels of bilateral agreements signed earlier this week between Nigeria and the UAE to facilitate the extradition of suspects wanted in Nigeria as well as the repatriation of stolen assets back to Nigeria.
Presidency sources told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that Nigeria’s ambassador to the UAE, Ibrahim Auwalu, had been asked to extend his term of service to ensure that the list is accurately compiled and submitted to Mr. Buhari. One source disclosed that, upon completion of the assignment, the president was likely to appoint a replacement for Mr. Auwalu.
The UAE has become an important destination for numerous former and serving public officials since President Buhari’s inauguration at the end of May 2015. Many Nigerian officials with assets and real estate in the UAE, especially Dubai, have fled there hoping for sanctuary from Mr. Buhari’s prosecution for corruption.
Nigeria’s bilateral agreement with the UAE is part of the Buhari administration’s agenda to set in motion legal mechanisms to facilitate the arrest of corrupt politicians who flee to the UAE and the repatriation of their stolen assets.
SaharaReporters has exclusively obtained the names of numerous public officials and politically exposed persons who own real estate in Dubai. The list include former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s special assistant on domestic matters, Waripamowei Dudafa, a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Muazu, former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Mr. Jonathan’s former campaign spokesman, Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Transportation, Idris Umar, former Minister for the Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe, former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (who recently moved to The Hague), former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, who has been indicted in Nigeria, former Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, and former First Lady Patience Jonathan.
Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State is also reported to have a property in Dubai.
One source told SaharaReporters that the list of serving and former public officials with assets and real estate in Dubai and other parts of the UAE is expected to grow much longer by the March 31deadline. Another source disclosed that many Nigerian officials used fake names, offshore corporations and beneficial owners to acquire their swanky, high-priced homes in the UAE.