A Lagos-based law firm, Lawflex, has asked the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to prosecute Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi over his alleged failure to declare secret assets stashed in tax havens while he was Anambra state governor.
In a petition dated March 23 and received by the CCB on the same day, the author of the petition, Olukoya Ogungbeje, urged the bureau to commence an immediate investigation against Obi and invite him for questioning.
The law firm threatened to seek a “judicial review by way of an Order of Mandamus in a court of competent jurisdiction in a bid to compel performance of public duty” if the CCB fails to take constitutional action within 30 days.
Leaked files, 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 was a part, had shown how the former governor failed to declare assets kept in tax havens.
In 2010, more than three years after Obi became governor, he reportedly set up his first discreet company in the British Virgin Islands and named the company Gabriella Investments Limited — after his daughter.
The former governor reportedly first approached Acces International, a secrecy enabler in Monaco, France, to help him incorporate an offshore entity.
He was also said to have been a director of Next International (UK) Limited for 14 months after becoming the governor of Anambra state.
Meanwhile, section 6 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal act stipulates that public office holders cannot engage in or direct a private business, except if it is farming.
But Obi was said to have resigned from the company on May 16, 2008, which was 14 months after he assumed office as Anambra governor.
Reacting, Obi said the report did not reflect international investment practices.