Skip to main content

How Umar Yar'Adua became a multi-millionaire in eight years.

March 28, 2007

So where did Umaru Musa Yar'Adua get all his money from? Where did Umaru Musa Yar'Adua got all his money from? This is the question that readily comes to mind after he recently said that he is not a wealthy man, but he is worth about N 500 million. It would be recalled that in the assets declaraction form he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, the then newly elected governor's worth totaled about N64 million. This included cash at hand, hard currencies in foreign accounts, shares in various companies as well as other property. And, in his own words he said very recently that, "my assets, all in all, any assets I don't think they amount to more than half a billion naira". Some how do we explain the sudden and quantum leap from N64 million to N500 million? Is the increase as well as a result of his fat salary? Or is it because he has unfettered assess to state treasury? There is no doubt whatsoever that he is a public servant that is placed on a specific salary, so, what type of business does he do, to have amass such huge sum of money within a very short time.

Not a few Nigerians expressed curiously regarding the governor's worth eight years after. To those who view him against the background of some of his colleagues who have allegedly looted their states to neck breaking points, the man is a symbol of transparency. But those who look at him in isolation against the backdrop of the transparency he publicly exhibit, it remains curious, the level of appreciation of governor's assets. When he was asked his total worth, he responded by saying, he didn't have the figures but for you to determine your value as at today you need to do a lot of calculations but he said he was worth about half a billion. And his value includes his liabilities.

In 1999 he gave a breakdown of his total assets to include N420,000 and another 1,000 Pound Sterling cash at hand. His bank account according to the declaration he made showed he had N4,044 million in three separate Habib Bank accounts in Kaduna and Katsina. He also jointly operates a foreign account with his wife. It showed he had $81, 000 in a London branch of Habib Bank, and another $700,000 in the same bank which was kept in trust for the under-age children of his late brother, Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. About his landed property the asset declaration form showed that Governor Yar'Adua owned three buildings in Katsina and Kaduna, all acquired between 1987 and 1997. according to the report, one of the houses at Yar'Adua quarters is his late father's which he said was inherited from the late General Yar'Adua valued at N2million. The second is a five-bedroom bungalow at Malali in Kaduna, given to him by late General Yar;Adua in 1987, valued at N5 million. The third is situated at Katsina Government's Reservation Area, built between 1987 and 1991and valued at N8million.

Yar'Adua also declared that he had four undeveloped plots acquired between 1993 and 1997. One he said was at Ikoyi in Lagos, granted to him by the Federal Government and valued at N10 million. The second is at Wuse Zone 2, Abuja granted to him by the FCDA and valued at N2 million, and the two others are situated in Katsina, one at Nagogo Road (GRA) which he said he bought from Alhaji Usman Musa Kofar Bai at the cost of 200,000 and another in Bakori, granted to him by the Bakori Local Government, the value of which was yet unknown. Umaru had two farms acquired between 1983 and 1987 at the cost of N250,000 as well as house furniture valued at N2million. In the same declaration, Yar'Adua said he had five vehicles acquired between 1985 and 1998, all valued at N8 million. These include a Mercedes E230 valued at N7million, which was an official car belonging to Habib Bank but given to him by the bank upon resigning his appointment as a director. It was the bank's policy. He also declared he had shares worth 2 million naira in Habib Bank, something he purchased through a loan of N6.5 million naira. The asset form showed that the loan acquired at bank road Kaduna showed a debit of N7,075,637,44. As at then he also had N100,000 shares at Muradi Hotels, given to him by Alhaji M.T. Usman in 1991; 100,000 worth of shares at Intercity Bank bought in 1999; N204,000 and N175,000 shares of Shemzan and Rumask. He also inherited shares from his life father in Lodigian Nigeria Limited, quantities not yet known as the shares had not yet been shared among the inheritors. This was Umaru Yar'Adua in 1999. The PDP presidential candidate confirmed that the bulk of his sources of income outside his legitimate entitlement as Katsina's Chief Executive had stopped as soon as he became governor.

So, the nagging question is where did the presidential flag bearer of the PDP got N436 million from in so short a time? Until this question is answered convincingly and in very clear unambiguous terms then, it means the war on corruption has not even started. It means it is just a gimmick to hoodwink the good people of Nigeria. And, it means the war against corruption is not only political, it is also selective and counter-productive. This will only engender the development of underdevelopment of the Nigerian state.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });