Pakistan’s prime minister forced to resign over Panama Papers

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has been forced to resign from office after the country’s Supreme Court declared him unworthy of occupying the country’s highest political office following a probe into his family’s wealth revealed in the Panama Papers Leak of 2015.

The Panama Papers leak is a series of global investigations spanning over a year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist, ICIJ, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and 100 other media organisations across the world.

PREMIUM TIMES was the only Nigerian newspaper to take part in the investigation.

Our reporting exposed the secret offshore asset of Senate President Bukola Saraki and his wife Toyin. It also revealed the offshore asset of Mr. Saraki’s predecessor, David Mark.

Other explosive revelations from PREMIUM TIMES on the Panama Papers investigations were how late governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, began looting his state and hiding the funds in offshore structures and how a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, organised the stealing of the oil-rich state’s fund via offshore companies.

It also revealed a network of shell companies in offshore tax havens linked to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and his brother, Sayyu Dantata, as well as the offshore companies of Wale Tinubu, the chief executive of Nigeria’s biggest indigenous oil company, Oando Plc, among others.

The 2.6 TB files, involving 214,488 entities were obtained from leaked data held by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm that specialises in creating offshore companies, some of which have been used by some con men and women to hide Ponzi schemes, and other financial fraud from authorities.

The Panama Papers investigation exposed offshore companies linked to more than 140 politicians, politically exposed persons and corporate bigwigs in more than 50 countries.

While officials of other countries involved in the scandal are being held to account, the Nigerian government is yet to prosecute public officers named in the leak.

Mr. Sharif is the second leader of a country to resign as a result of the leak following the resignation of former Icelandic prime minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, in April 2016 after widespread protest in the country.

Not eligible to be an honest member of the parliament

Mr. Sharif has insisted that he committed no wrong. But after a unanimous verdict by judges of the court he had to announce his resignation, the BBC reports.

One of the judges of the Supreme Court, Ejaz Afzal Khan, said that Mr. Sharif was no longer “eligible to be an honest member of the parliament”, Reuters report.

The court also recommended criminal cases against Mr. Sharif, his daughter, Maryam, and her husband. The country’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, was also penciled down for prosecution.

“Following the verdict, Nawaz Sharif has resigned from his responsibilities as prime minister,” a spokesperson for Mr. Shariff announced in a statement.

The leak revealed that three of Mr. Sharif’s children owned offshore companies and assets not shown on his family’s wealth statement.

The companies were used to channel funds to acquire foreign assets, including some apartments along Park Lane in London’s Mayfair area.

Mr. Sharif served as prime minister from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 before he was removed in a bloodless coup in October 1999. He was one year from completing an unprecedented third term in office before Friday’s resignation.


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  • Foreign Reels

    Premium Times Editor,

    Bukola Saraki leaked inside Panama scam papers

    “Toyin Ojora-Saraki, the wife of the president of the Nigerian Senate, is a business front
    for her husband Bukola Saraki. According to documents retrieved from the Mossack Fonseca
    database (in Panama) the assets in her name in tax havens are held in trust for Bukola (Saraki),
    Nigeria’s third ranked official.

    Landfield International Developments
    a company registered in the British Virgin Islands on April 8, 2014 – had Toyin Ojora-Saraki
    as sole shareholder. But it is apparent that she was a front, because Bukola Saraki has since
    discreetly taken over the company using Longmeadow Holdings, another shell company
    registered in Jersey.

    To effect the take-over, a board meeting of Landfield was purportedly
    held on January 28 2015, where it was agreed that the company be sold to Bukola Saraki
    for more than £3-million. That same day, Toyin Ojora-Saraki wrote to Mossack Fonseca
    informing it that she was transferring the beneficial ownership of Landfield
    to Bukola Saraki and his company.”

    …………..Mail & Guardian

    [April 22nd, 2016]

  • Abdullah Musa

    Nigerian Judges, being abetters of corruption, cannot tell Saraki he is no longer qualified to be a Senator.

  • Sword of Damocles

    This is one of the reasons why I have taken a siddon look posture with this current administration. Just like with the $43 million Ikoyi money, Panama Papers, all the Dasuki NSA withdrawals from CBN (tied to Jonathan’s looting schemes), this government has acted like the typical ruling elites and turned a blind eye. Why you say? Because if they TOUCH the people involved in the scandals I mentioned, then they must deal with looters that predate fortunado(Nigeria’s heavyweight looter champion). Which would include past Military looters. Nigeria needs to stop pretending it is a rule of law democracy and go back on to indirect rule of traditional rulers, after all the elites insists that the law which governs the common man is not for them(agbada & babanriga boys). One day Nigeria will have a leader with my disposition and then the FUN STARTS

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    This is because Pakistan is a country. This is why Sir Nnamdi Kanu, the noble and princely one of our times is leading an unstoppable movement like Emmanuel Makron of France just did…a separate brand new country of Biafra where the people count and riff-rafts and hardened unrepentant criminals like Saranky who stole and moved monies to Panama will never be President of anything. God bless Nnamdi Kanu. God bless Emeka Ojukwu. God bless Chukwuma Nzeogu and God Bless Isaac Adaka Boro who started it all. 1914 has been an aberration and it is never too late to rectify that grotesque anomaly.

    • jon

      So is now macron not Trump any more

    • Tunji Olarewaju

      Why are you yibo subhumans so obsessed with titles? From Dim to Igwe, to Mazi, to prophet, now he’s Sir! Na wa for una o

    • Chuma Anierobi

      People like you belong to Pakistan`s Ex PM group.

      • Okokondem

        Why, because he is known to have offshore account in Panama, or because he thinks differently from you? You know you don’t necessarily have to post anything? It’s quite ok to simply read other’s estate when you have nothing of substance to contribute.

        • Okokondem

          Especially, not estate.

    • Dan arewa

      Dr. Pat it’s you saying this rubbish.

    • Noble

      Honestly I wish you know what you are doing. Alas you seem not to!!!

  • Ariyo

    Were Nigeria a country crooked liars, deceitful men and even THIEVES like some political Animals indicted will by now be in Prison. But instead what you hear is that one of them (The greatest thief of them all) is considering becoming Nigeria’s next President since Buhari is no longer coming back.

  • Tunji Olarewaju

    This is foreign news, and it is foreign news.Here in Nigeria, our Chief Law breaker (oops, Law Maker),indicted in that damning saga, is busy breaking (pardon me once again) making laws for law abiding citizens

  • Afo

    Saraki must follow same route. Nigerian judges must be ashamed for supporting corruption as they are stunningly corrupt.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Pakistani Prime Minister is more like Acting President than Saraki. He is head of government like Balewa was.
      We need immunity for criminal prosecution for President & governors.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    “Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has been forced to resign from office after the country’s Supreme Court declared him unworthy of occupying the country’s highest political office following a probe into his family’s wealth revealed in the Panama Papers Leak of 2015.”

    Saraki, any comments?

    “We shall amend the constitution so that Nigerian leaderss will be offered the opportunity of amnesty, which they so desperately deserve(need)!”