Monday, 6 November 2017

Paradise Papers I have no property to hide, says Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki says he has not violated any law in the course of registering Tenia Limited.
The Senate President stated this while reacting to reports by the AFP which named him among world leaders who used shell companies in tax heavens to either conceal assets, evade tax or launder funds.

The files that were leaked on Sunday, November 5, 2017, already dubbed Paradise Papers, contain 13.4 million documents mainly from Appleby, an offshore law firm with offices in Bermuda and beyond.

Saraki was found to have sat on the board of Tenia Limited, an offshore company located in the Cayman Islands that he set up and ran as director and sole shareholder from 2001 until at least 2015, a duration that spanned his tenure as Kwara State governor and member of the upper legislative chamber.

This act is a violation of Nigeria's code of conduct law as he failed to list it in his assets declaration filings when he was elected governor as well as member of the Senate in the stated period.

But, in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki said the company was incorporated in 2001, before he ventured into politics.
The Senate President noted that the company had remained dormant, held no assets and he was not a signatory to the company’s account.

The statement reads:

“Once again, the issue of offshore company registration which was first raised in 2016 is being revived and thrown to the public space. As a responsible public officer, Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will continue to explain his position. We know this is the period of politics when mudslinging is a common trick in the game.

“However, we will like to make it known that Dr. Saraki violated no law and did nothing illegal in the course of registering the company under reference, Tenia Limited, and afterwards.

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