Friday, August 19

Presidency orders probe on Panama papers

Presidency orders probe on Panama papers

– Presidency has ordered the probe on prominent Nigerians named in the Panama papers scandal

– The presidency has forwarded the names of the prominent Nigerians who are to be investigated to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)

– The CCB says it has questions for some public officers in the country

Senate president Bukola Saraki and his predecessor, David Mark top the list of prominent Nigerians set to be probed, after they were named in the Panama Papers scandal, Premium Times reports.

According to the report, the presidency has ordered the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to investigate the Panama papers report which showed how the lawmakers operated offshore shell companies which allowed them evade taxes.

Speaking with Premium Times, Sam Saba, the chairman of the CCB, said the presidency forwarded names of some persons mentioned in the Panama Papers, to the agency for investigation.

He said: “I want to let you know that government has written to us and given us some names based on what they have been reading and hearing regarding that document.

“As soon as the #PanamaPapers reporting started, the CCB attempted to get the full leaks until Premium Times assisted it by making some details for its scrutiny.”

Saba said the CCB, after studying the papers, has questions for some public officers in the country.

However, Saba said he would not disclose the names of the affected public officers.

He said: “I think it (Panama Papers) is going to be helpful because already we have some questions for certain public officers, which I will not be able to disclose at the moment. Until they finish answering those questions, I may not be able to discuss it.

 “I tried to access the document via the internet, but I was required to subscribe and pay some money, which I didn’t have.

“That was what stalled our effort at the time. But I later asked my counterpart in the ICPC if he was in the picture and he replied in the negative. He, however, advised me to approach Premium Times.” recalls that a huge treasure of secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca was made public on April 3, revealing an immense web of offshore shell companies used by members of the global elite to evade taxes, hoard money, and skirt economic sanctions.

This newspaper had published leaked papers from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonsecca, which were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The 2.6 TB files, involving 214,488 entities, exposed incredible secrets of the underworld economy, where a network of banks, law firms and other middlemen utilize shell companies, sometimes to hide illegal wealth.

It was gathered that at least 110 Nigerians and companies operating offshore shell companies in tax havens.

Some Nigerian power players were involved in the case. Nigeria’s retired army general and ex-defence minister, Theophilus Danjuma, was cited.

It was said that the general had offshore companies and several secret accounts. Also notably mentioned were Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, the chairman of MRS Group Companies Saayu Dantata, and a former Delta state governor James Ibori.

The Nigerian Senate was not left out of the scandal.

The immediate past Senate president David Mark and his successor Senator Bukola Saraki were also mentioned both linked to the controversial papers and deals.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also vowed to investigate the prominent Nigerians and government officials who were named as having secret foreign accounts or foreign firms that allow them to escape paying tax as contained in PanamaPapers.

Check out the list of Public officers who may be investigated by the CCB here

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