A penthouse valued at $51.9 million, belonging to Kolawole Aluko, Nigerian oil mogul based in the United States, is currently up for sale for a “motivated” price of $39 million.
The property, according to The Cable, is believed to be part of the proceeds of “shady” oil contracts also involving a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and another businessman, Jide Omokore.
The trio, who are on the radar of the US department of justice for alleged money laundering, risk the forfeiture of at least $144million worth of assets regarded as proceeds of crime.
The Nigerian authorities, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have seized some of their assets.
Aluko was said to have bought the luxurious apartment — seen as the most expensive foreclosure in New York City — for $51.9million in 2014.
He was, however, forced to obtain a $35.5million mortgage facility from Luxembourg bank to pay for the apartment.
Court documents showed his failure to pay back the loan a year later led to the bank taking possession of the 6,420-square-foot apartment.
“The home was in foreclosure, but it is now being sold by a third party as an alternative to foreclosure,” a source close to the property told New York Post, adding that Aluko “has nothing to do” with the sale.
He is yet to officially react to the fraud allegations as he is said to be evading arrest since the US Department of Justice initiated proceedings on the alleged crimes.
Court documents had detailed how Aluko and Omokore gave out huge amounts of money, mostly in foreign currencies, to their cronies.
While some of the numerous property they bought with dividends from the “shady” contracts are located in Nigeria, most of them are in various countries abroad, especially in the US and London.