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.