SaharaReporters has uncovered how disgraced former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, bought a $1.2million home in London, disguising it in the robes of a foreign-registered company in an effort to avoid detection.
The chicanery was undertaken in 2012, when Mrs. Oduah, now the Senator representing Anambra North constituency, but at that time a Minister in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, used ADRIATIC LAND 4 LIMITED, incorporated in Guernsey in the United Kingdom, for the purchase. She gave the address of the company, with registration No. 56274, as Mont Crevelt House, Bulwer Avenue, St. Sampson, Guernsey, GY2 4LH.
The transaction, which had been kept secret, was blown open when Mrs. Oduah decided to rent out the house earlier this year and engaged the services of a shady real estate company, Daniel Ford and Company Ltd, for that purpose. It would be recalled that Daniel Foster and Co recently featured prominently in a US civil case involving a former Minister of Oil Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The company, which is owned by some UK-based Nigerians, is central to a lot of real estate transactions involving politically exposed Nigerians.
When Daniel Ford and Company Ltd. rented out Mrs. Oduah’s London home, she identified herself as the owner of the property, thereby removing the veil of ownership she had imposed by the nature of its discreet registration.
SaharaReporters had exposed Mrs. Oduah’s corrupt activities during her time as Minister of Aviation, the biggest of them being the wild inflation of the cost of two BMW cars she forced a cash strapped federal aviation agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, to purchase for her in 2013. The scandalous purchase led to her being fired by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 after she was found guilty by a committee of the federal legislature, and indicted.
Another committee set up by President Jonathan had also indicted her but he never made that indictment public.
Mrs. Oduah is under investigation from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, but the commission, for inexplicable reasons, refused to charge her even after it concluded investigations last year. During her tenure as a Minister, she reportedly embezzled close to a billion dollars, mainly from contracts awarded to refurbish airports across Nigeria. The facelift of those airports turned out to be very shoddy, and they have all but fallen apart.
According to investigators, Mrs. Oduah used funds she embezzled as minister to buy ships, as well as some 150 houses in Lagos alone.