Meet the Nigerian who rented his yacht to Jay Z, Beyonce for N315M

Aluko once rumoured to have dated Naomi Campbell, has partied with Leonardo DiCaprio, P Diddy, Jamie Foxx and owns over a hundred houses in 3 different continents

 

In September 2015, celebrity couple Beyonce and Jay Zreportedly paid $900,000 to sail across the Mediterranean on theGalactica Star, a 65 meter long luxury yacht, equipped with a helipad, 10 dining areas, a jacuzzi, and a sun deck.

The $72M yacht belongs to Kolawole Aluko, a petroleum and aviation mogul and key ally of former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Aluko who was once rumoured to be dating celebrity model Naomi Campbell, is accused of cheating Nigeria out of $1.8 billion from unpaid dues from crude oil sales.

An amount the government says “is equal to the combined 2016 budgets of about 4 States, and would be utilized to cater for about 13 million people”.

He is also accused of smuggling millions of dollars out of the country on behalf Diezani.

In a report published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) - Secret Documents Expose Nigerian Oil Mogul’s Offshore Hideaways, Aluko who alongside some Nigerian oil executives, state governors, ministers, military officers and tribal chiefs are among those mentioned in the Panama Papers scandal.

Aluko gained sudden prominence after two of his companies were awarded oil blocks without bidding, even though one of the companies Atlantic Energy, was just a day old. This happened in 2011, just a year after Diezani was appointed petroleum minister by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

In March 2014, Earnshaw Associates one of Aluko’s companies, which was incorporated just three weeks after Alison-Madueke was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources, registered a Bombardier Global Express jet in Malta.

The 18-seater plane is the same model of aircraft that Diezani reportedly used during her time in office.

An order by the Lagos High Court granted the government the permission to freeze his assets which include the four houses in California, properties in London, two penthouses in Manhattan, one penthouse in Dubai, 132 houses in Nigeria and land in both Canada and Switzerland and also his yacht.

He is also said to have more than $67 million in four bank accounts in London and Switzerland, 58 cars, three airplanes and a bevy of wristwatches.

Aluko who through a representative has denied the allegations told ICIJ that “I have never been prosecuted and convicted in any country. I am aware that a criminal investigation was started in the UK. However, to date I have not been made aware of any law enforcement action to be undertaken against me.”

The criminal charges against Aluko for alleged crude oil fraud have been dropped, because authorities have not been able to locate him to serve him with legal documents.

Sadly Aluko proves Jurgen Mossack right when he told his staffs that “dealing with Nigerians always gives you headaches”. He was referring to a case in 2007 which involved a former advisor to then President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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