Bola Tinubu has asserted real estate inheritance as the source of his stunning wealth in the latest version of his ever-changing narratives regarding how he came about the billions of dollars he is believed to be sitting on.
The All Progressives Congress presidential candidate for 2023, Tinubu said he inherited a substantial real estate that grew even bigger following shrewd investing decisions, an assertion that opposed his previous interviews in which he cited bonuses from earnings as a mid-level official at Deloitte.
Mr Tinubu has also previously claimed he became wealthy following his retirement outlays as a senior treasurer with oil giant Mobil in the late 1980s.
But in an interview with the BBC that went live online Wednesday, the former Lagos governor said someone left him a vast real estate upon which he built an investment portfolio. He did not say who left the money. Mr Tinubu’s father was never known, and his foster mother, Abibatu Mogaji, only passed on in July 2013 at a modest house gifted to her by Mr Tinubu after he became governor in 1999.
“I inherited great real estate. I turned the value around. I’m not denying my wealth,” Mr Tinubu said in the interview posted on BBC Africa’s Facebook page.
Mr Tinubu, 70, slammed his critics as enemies of wealth for wondering how he was about to build a multibillion-dollar empire despite lacking any background as an industrialist or business executive.
“Are they enemies of wealth? If they are not enemies of wealth, investments do yield,” Mr Tinubu said.
The controversial presidential candidate has faced corruption allegations from Nigerians, and anti-graft agencies have been reluctant to look into his finances for fear of political backlash from a man close to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2020, Peoples Gazette published a series of financial documents that showed how Mr Tinubu was stealing to enrich himself via questionable tax administration in Lagos.
The newspaper also uncovered how Mr Tinubu, through tax consultants Alpha Beta, siphoned billions to shell companies and his known businesses like TVC and Lagos rapid transit schemes.
Mr Tinubu’s previous ties to drug trafficking businesses from the 1990s recently made headlines across Nigeria. The politician has continued to deny all wrongdoing, including charges of drugs and looting of Lagos’ treasury.
Next February, Mr Tinubu will square up against former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party’s presidential flagbearer Peter Obi, African Action Congress’s Omoyele Sowore and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP for Africa’s most populous country’s top job.