A former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has denied breaking any law over his failure to declare, while in office, assets he co-owned as international investments.
According to leaked documents, which were retrieved from 14 offshore service firms around the world and revealed in a Pandora Papers project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and which Premium Times is a part of, had revealed how the former governor failed to state his assets kept in tax havens.
In 2010, over three years after Obi emerged Governor, he reportedly established his first discreet firm in the British Virgin Islands, which he named Gabriella Investments Limited — after his daughter.
Obi reportedly first met with Acces International, a secrecy enabler in Monaco, France, to assist him to incorporate an offshore organization.
The former Anambra State Governor was also mentioned to have been a director of Next International (UK) Limited for 14 months after becoming the governor of Anambra state.
Meanwhile, according to the law, section 6 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act forbids public office holders from engaging in or direct a private business, with the exception of farming.
It was gathered that Obi only resigned from the organization on May 16, 2008, 4 months after he was sworn in as Governor of Anambra State.
Reacting, Obi said the report doesn’t reflect international investment practices.
“On the allegation that I violated the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, as well as sections of the 5th Schedule to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), by not declaring any alleged assets in companies registered outside the Nigerian Federation, I think that the authors displayed ignorance on matters of trust and international investment practices,” he said.
Obi noted that concerning all matters relating to his investments and declaration of his personal assets, wherever they may be found, he acted in line with professional opinions and the advice of local and international investment experts.
He added that he also engaged and acted on solicited advice by reputable legal practitioners, on whose opinions he relied.