Former Nigerian Minister Buys £2.7m Apartment in Iconic London Tower
Weeks after UK Prime Minister David Cameron sparked a diplomatic row, after he was caught on camera describing Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt”, former Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ebitimi Banigo, has been named among 130 foreign buyers in Britain’s tallest residential skyscraper.
Other high-profile buyers named in the Guardian UK report include a Russian senator, a Kurdish oil magnate, an Egyptian snack-food mogul and a former Formula 1 racing driver as the UK housing industry grows increasingly dependent on foreign funds.
Banigo, renowned kingmaker and King of Okpoama kingdom in Bayelsa State, is reportedly the owner of the flat directly beneath the £51m penthouse that belongs to former Russian senator Andrei Guriev.
Banigo was investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2005 following the collapse of the All States Trust Bank when he was chairman, while a senate report accused him of owing the bank N15bn (£50m), albeit he was never charged with any offence.
There were also accusations that he was guilty of sharp practices as head of the defunct All States Trust Bank, with revelations during a court hearing that he personally aided former Plateau State Governor, Joshua C. Dariye in diverting a N1.126 billion Ecological Fund.
Apparently, his questionable past, and that of many other Nigerians who have ploughed in huge sums in various sectors of the UK economy, has no bearing on their credibility as investors to UK officials.
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