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Pandora Papers: Retired Delta State Judge allegedly acquires offshore companies illegally



Pandora Papers: Retired Delta State Judge allegedly acquires offshore companies illegally

A retired Judge in the Delta State Judiciary Service, Stella Ogene has been alleged of illegally acquiring an offshore company.

The company was allegedly exposed in the Pandora Papers according to a report on Tuesday by Premium Times in collaboration with UK-based Finance Uncovered.

Ogene retired from the judicial service of Delta State where she headed the state’s Customary Court of Appeal for a record 21 years, the report said.

According to the report, Ogene “operated a secret offshore company for several years in blatant breach of Nigeria’s code of conduct laws.

“And even in what pushes the limit of impunity, publicly accessible Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) records list her as a director of a private company for 10 years running.

“In 2009, Mrs Ogene decided to venture into the London property market. However, for a public officer, she had a challenge: scaling the UK due diligence checks about her source of funds.

Read also: PANDORA PAPERS: Former NSA, Dasuki, named in alleged money laundering deals

“She also needed to blindside the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) from determining an undeclared asset or an asset not attributable to fair income in accordance with Nigeria’s law.

“To scale these hurdles, she procured what experts call an envelope structure. To acquire the property without being detected, Mrs Ogene hid behind a company tucked away offshore.”

In order to unravel the situation, the investigators contacted Ogene who initially “made a flat denial of her link with the shell company, Assete Media Limited” before being sent a further written note describing information “including a Cook Worldwide register of clients listing her as a sole director and secretary, letters she signed indicating she is the beneficial owner and an exact address of the London property she secretly bought.

“Realising the futility of further denial, Mrs Ogene then said, “I am not a sole director or any director for that matter and I am just a nominal shareholder of Assete Media. In relation to the records of the letter you referred to written by me, it is outdated and obsolete and there are documents to that effect.”

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