Panama Papers reveals Lagos commissioner’s N476m property in London

The report further noted that Coker’s lawyer said he had multiple sources of income and had always declared his interest in Satori Holdings to the Nigerian authorities.

Lagos State commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Folarin Folorunsho Coker

According to a report by the UK Guardian, Coker was reported as one of the famous Nigerians whose anonymous ownership of different property in London has been exposed by the massive leak of the Panama law firm’s data on offshore companies.

The former head of the Central Business District under the Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola’s tenure reportedly owns a townhouse worth £1.65m in Kensington and Chelsea but shown as belonging to a BVI company, whose sole shareholder is Folorunsho Coker.

The UK Guardian also reports that offshore companies and trusts can also enable investors to keep assets hidden while potentially reducing capital gains and inheritance tax or stamp duty in a manner not available to ordinary homeowners.

Thus, transparency campaigners have warned against such saying the secrecy of such arrangements can enable large sums of black money to be laundered through the property market.

Reports also revealed that the London’s housing market had been tilted by laundered money.

Meanwhile back home in Nigeria, it was further alleged that the commissioner has his hands in hospitality businesses that include a restaurant and a private club situated on a Lagos private beach.

According to Encomium Magazine, until January 2016 after he was announced the commissioner for tourism, arts and culture in Nigeria, Coker was running the Brown Restaurant on Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The restaurant, which has another branch situated in Ikeja GRA, was reportedly handed over to his trusted ally, the bar manager.

Coker’s business interests also allegedly include La Casa, a multimillion naira world class dignitaries’ hangout situated on Ilashe beach, Lagos.

Coker, who had been in government since the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is believed to have the ears of national leader of the All Progressive Congress, and was fully involved in the campaign of the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode as well as the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

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