“A public office holder shall not except where he is not employed on a full‐time basis, engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade.” section 6(b) of the Code of Conduct Act.
Born in July 1949 in Katsina State without any work experience outside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abubakar Lawal Yar’adua who joined the NNPC as a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company KRPC, in 1976, proved to be an expert in flouting the rules of sections of the fifth schedule as contained in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended during his days as Group Managing Director (GMD) of the company.
Mr Abubakar after his appointment as the GMD of NNPC in August 2007 according to investigations turned the Corporation into his cash cow as he acquired a 5 bedroom property located at 28A North Crescent, London after paying over £890,000 for the property which is now estimated to worth over N414,632,755.00 (Four Hundred and Fourteen Million Six Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira).
The building which is located in a freehold estate on Finchley, London N3 3LL and registered under title number NGL624398 we learned has an entrance hall, a guest cloakroom, a lounge, a dining area, kitchen/breakfast room, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a utility room, a garage and garden.
Further findings by SecretReporters showed that the building is listed as the 22nd most expensive building in the area with the most expensive building costing more than £1,300,000 (One Million Three Hundred Thousand Pounds) and estimated in Naira to be about N606, 100,950 (Six Hundred and Six Million One Hundred Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira). With a vast knowledge in the pilfering of public funds, Abubakar acquired the said building under the utilization of an offshore company, Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited which was registered to a London residence address at Beechwood Hall, Regents Park Road, London N3 3AT in the British virgin island.
An island said to be a tax haven favoured by corrupt public officials, money launderers, celebrities and businessmen dealing in illicit finance.
In a bid to avoid the sting involved in money laundering from anti-corruption agencies, the cunning Abubakar subsequently secured a loan from Dexia Private Bank Limited in Jersey on November 18, 2008, with an effective date of December 2, 2008, using Hydrocarbon Assets Investments Limited which he used in paying for the property thus giving him outright ownership of the property; a feat which was made possible because the infamous offshore-provider Mossack Fonseca, was the registered agent of his secret offshore company.
Expectedly, in a sub rosa move to keep his unlawful ownership of Hydrocarbon Asset Investment Limited and other properties fully aware that his actions contravene the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, Abubakar who according to sources hitherto functioned as the sole director of the company in November 7th, 2008, resigned and appointed Gudson Limited and Roselle Limited as directors of the company, but took back control of the company in August 2010 after a board meeting held at the registered office of the company at Akara Building, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands after his resignation as the GMD of NNPC in 2009.
Although sharing the same family name with the late Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Abubakar Lawal Yar’adua is not a close relative of the deceased president. However, he was very well known to the Late President as they both hail from the same town of Katsina where they were raised together since childhood in the 1960s. These many perceive could be the reason why Abubakar Lawal Yar’adua was untouchable and may not have been prosecuted by anti-corruption agencies despite his continuous law-breaking spree especially while he was in the public service.