The United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), SaharaReporters has learned, is on the verge on launching an investigation under the Unexplained Wealth Order into how the Messrs after receiving a letter from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, President and Deputy President of the Senate respectively, acquired pricey landed properties in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Saraki, at various times governor of Kwara State and Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, is the owner of two London properties valued at about £15million. Sources at the SFO told SaharaReporters that his properties to be investigated are located at No. 7 and 8 Whittaker Street, Belgravia, London.
Mr.Ekweremadu, a former Secretary to the Government and Chief of Staff to the governor of Enugu state. The Senator acquired two properties worth £4m in London via fronts.
The properties are Flat 4 Varsity Court, Homer Street, WIH, 4NW London and 52 Ayleston Avenue NW6 7AB, London. SFO sources said there is a serious curiosity in the agency that Mr. Ike Ekweremadu acquired Flat 4, Varsity Court, Homer Street, WIH 4NW, London, under the guise of Ikeoha Foundation, which is registered with Nigeria's Corporate Affairs Commission as a charity. The property is worth £830, 000.
The Deputy Senate President acquired the second property using a shell company, Property Circle Ltd Incorporated, which was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. The property is worth £2.9million.
SaharaReporters gathered from SFO operatives that another property in the Varsity Court, purportedly owned by C & V Management Company Ltd and 44 Homer Street purportedly owned by SJW Estates Ltd, incorporated in Jersey, will also be investigated. The value of the property is £18.5million.
In addition to Messrs. Saraki and Ekweremadu, Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan, a senator, is also to be investigated by the SFO. Mr. Akpan, a former Akwa Ibom State Finance Commissioner, disclosed in his assets declaration form dated August 8, 2015, that he owns has a number of landed properties in London. SFO sources said the Mr. Akpan claimed to have acquired the properties through Barclays Bank of London-financed mortgage totaling £1million.
"The SFO will investigate the circumstances under which Senator Bassey Albert Akpan acquired all these landed properties in the United Kingdom. The circumstances are suspicious, taking into account that for the past 10 years, he has always been a public officer and his legitimate earnings are far below the worth of the assets he has acquired in the United Kingdom," said an SFO source.
The SFO source said they have received encouraging cooperation from the Buhari regime explaining that the aforementioned politicians couldn't have afforded the properties through lawful means, the regime in a letter to the SFO detailed their salaries and emoluments as well as revealing that they did not declare the assets as required by law.