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Kola Aluko’s New York Apartment Sold to Mystery Buyer at $36m

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Kola Aluko
  • Kola Aluko’s New York Apartment Sold to Mystery Buyer at $36m

A yet-to-be-identified buyer has paid $36million for the luxury penthouse at the One57 tower in New York, United States formerly owned by wanted Nigerian oil mechant Kola Aluko, the Cable reports.

Quoting Bloomberg, it reported that the 79th-floor apartment was sold at a foreclosure auction.
The transaction means a $15 million loss on the property. The oil magnate wanted in Nigeria by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for fraudulent oil deals estimated at $1.5 billion, bought the apartment in 2014 for $51 million.

Aluko, along with his business partner, Jide Omokore, also has a case to answer in the United States for alleged money laundering charges.

With oil deals closed in Nigeria, Aluko subsequently defaulted on mortgage and tax payments on the property.

The Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland which issued the mortgage on the One57 apartment had initially planned to put the apartment up for auction in July, but foreclosure proceedings were delayed after another one of Kola Aluko’s creditors came forward and claimed the Nigerian oilman owed it about $83 million for gasoline and jet fuel.

The bank attempted to sell the property in September for $39 million but couldn’t get any buyer. So it was put back on the auction block.

The 47-year-old tycoon, linked to former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has vanished from the radar since he was declared wanted by both the U.S. authorities and the EFCC.

A Nigerian court tried to freeze Aluko’s assets, including his One57 unit, as part of the alleged scheme to defraud the government of oil sale profits.

But the court could not find Aluko to serve him with papers.

It is believed that he may simply be floating around the world on his 213-foot yacht, the Galactica Star, bought at a cost of $80million, despite strong objections by Alison-Madueke.

Her objection was made known via court papers filed by America’s Justice Department.
In 2015, the yacht was sailing around the Mediterranean. It was spotted in Cancun last year, and may now be berthed in Turkey.

The yacht, apart from the penthouse, has been listed for seizure by the U.S. government, in the case filed in Houston, Texas.

Both Aluko and Omokore were alleged in the case to have paid bribes between 2011 and 2015 to Alison-Madueke who ensured that shell companies owned by the businessmen received billion-dollar contracts to sell Nigeria’s crude oil.

President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled the oil swap arrangement in November 2015, seven months after taking office.

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) lawsuit provided more insight into the scale of theft of Nigeria’s oil riches under Alison-Madueke’s watch. The civil lawsuit, brought by DOJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, is seeking to recover $144 million in assets.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Sanwo-Olu Orders Full Reopening of Markets

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Coronavirus

Governor of Lagos State Orders Full Reopening of All Markets

Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has ordered the full reopening of markets in the state after a report showed new cases of COVID-19 have subsided.

The governor ordered the full reopening of both the food markets and non-food markets across the metropolis.

Dr. Wale Ahmed, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday.

He said the governor took the decision to further deepen trade and commerce and ease the hardship of recent happenings.

It should be recalled that the markets were shut due to the outbreak of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in March before they were partially reopened for activities in May.

The governor, however, urged all traders to observe all safety protocols in order to prevent a possible resurgence of COVID-19 in the state.

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Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks on Looted Palliatives, Explains Delay

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looted palliatives

Looted Palliatives: Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks

Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has spoken on the recent actions of criminals and thugs who hijacked the #EndSARS protest and looted warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were kept for distributions.

The group refuted claims that the stolen items were hoarded for certain people instead of distribution to the vulnerable they were meant for. This is despite the fact that some of the palliatives were already rotten by the time criminals broke into the warehouses.

Some of the looters, who spoke with the press, said a sizeable number of the items were already rotten and destroyed by rodents, while one of the lawmakers tasked with distribution claimed he planned to distribute the items on his birthday. A statement that angered many Nigerians.

However, in a statement issued on behalf of the group by Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, CBN, on Monday, CACOVID said due to the huge size of the items meant to be distributed, the complex process involved in manufacturing, packaging and the eventual distribution to 2 million most vulnerable families across the 774 local government in the country, the group agreed to conduct the supply in stages, especially given locked down imposed by the Federal Government during the period.

The statement reads, “Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.

“The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.

“Over the past few months, the private sector, through CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver, and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support towards the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.

“The very large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”

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Makinde Directs Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest

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education

Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest, Says Governor Makinde

The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed schools across the Ibadan metropolis to resume normal activities immediately after the #EndSARS protest.

Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the commissioner for education, Oyo State, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan.

According to Olaleye, the directive was after a careful review of the situation in the Ibadan metropolis as promised by Governor Makinde in a state broadcast on October 20.

This was after the governor ordered the closure of all schools, private and public, in the Ibadan metropolis for three days and promised to review the situation on October 23.

Olaleye said the governor thanks the youths who have been cooperating with security operatives in the state to ensure peace and order.

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