The factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, is financially bankrupt and had now contracted the services of an agent to dispose off all his valued assets in N’Djamena, Chad, Daily Correspondents has exclusively gathered.
The former two-term governor who plundered his state resources running into several billions of naira and currently among the former governors being investigated by the EFCC, had invested hugely in Chad’s oil and gas, but such investments had now hit the rocks, resulting in almost 90% lost of Sheriff’s wealth.
A knowledgeable source who disclosed this to Daily Correspondents said the former Borno governor had now contracted the services of an agent, one Mr Uche, who is currently in N’Djamena, Chad selling and disposing off Sheriff’s assets.
Among the assets are an un-utilised oil block valued at several billions of naira.
According to our source, arrangement to sell off the oil block to Chief Arthur Eze, a Nigerian oil and gas billionaire, has been finalised.
Arthur Eze is the founder and Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, which has assets in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and the Gambia. In 2010 Eze made $200m selling oil blocks in Liberia.
Our source further hinted that Sheriff is also selling off all his multi-billion dollar houses and office complex in Njadmena.
Why Sheriff is selling off his assets
According to the source, one of the reasons Sheriff is disposing off his assets is to enable him pull enough resources to contest the Presidential election in 2019 as well as pay some outstanding huge debts to avoid litigations that could cause him his ambition.
“Sheriff has ambition in 2019 to become the president of Nigeria and he is currently broke following his failed investments in N’Djamena.
“He is a great gambler who was virtually bankrupt before the 2003 gubernatorial election in Borno State, which he contested and won. Sheriff would have completely gone bankrupt had he lost the election at that time after spending all his fortunes to contest the election.
“He was however lucky that he won and thereafter recouped back all that he spent and even stole more in his eight years as governor. Probably, he thinks he will do the same again in 2019, now that his oil and gas investments had hit the rocks, to see if luck will shine on him again this time around to have an opportunity to plunder the nation’s common wealth.
“That’s why he is selling off his assets running into billions of naira to contest in 2019, but I can tell you, he is broke for now that even Fayose can match him money for money,” the source said.
Reason Sheriff ‘disrespectfully’ worked out on Jonathan at a PDP meeting
The source had further given insight into why Sheriff walked out on former President Goodluck Jonathan during a stakeholders’ meeting called by Mr. Jonathan on the 6th of April, 2017 to resolve the lingering crisis in the opposition party.
Addressing newsmen after the work out, the former Borno state governor said he was shocked at being denied the opportunity to preside over the meeting, hence his show of disrespect to the former president.
But this is far from the truth, our source knowledgeable with the happenings around Sheriff told this newspaper.
The source said it was on record that Ali Modu Sheriff while as governor of Borno had invested massively in Chad’s oil and gas industry. Sheriff is also a benefactor of the tapping of reserves from Nigeria through Chad drilling.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan is also said to have been introduced to the lucrative investments in Chad by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. The sole reason their relationship was so strong that Mr Jonathan while as Commander-in-Chief had always shielded Sheriff from investigation over his alleged ties to Boko Haram.
Our source hinted that before the political meeting called by Jonathan on 6th April, 2017, there were some personal disagreements between Sheriff and Jonathan over the failed investments in Njadmena introduced to the former president by Sheriff.
The former president is said to be angered that Sheriff persuaded him to commit billions into a business that has not generated a single kobo till date. Both men were said to have engaged in a shouting match, but when the former president threatened litigation, reminding Sheriff of an existing legal agreement signed by parties in the deal, Sheriff finally agreed to pay, but only when he disposed off such assets, he told Mr. Jonathan.
Recall that sometimes ago, an urgent trip he made to Tchad with former president Goodluck Jonathan after he was named a Boko Haram sponsor by President Jonathan’s terror negotiator, Australian Doctor Stephen Davis is believed to have been necessitated to restore investor confidence in Chad and assure the Chadian partners in tapping of oil from the common basins that all is well, and Mr. Jonathan will stand by Sheriff and protect their common investments in that industry and country.
After the bitter exchange of words at a time the PDP leadership tussle was ongoing, and Jonathan was called upon by the PDP governors to mediate in the crisis, Sheriff felt that his misunderstanding with Goodluck Jonathan could cause him the PDP chairmanship as the former president who initially stood by him may back down.
The meeting called by Goodluck Jonathan to resolve the crisis in the party was therefore looked upon with suspicion from Sheriff, hence the show of shame he exhibited before the former president.
As it is, Sheriff is said to be frustrated for now, said the source.
Sheriff never a successful business man as claimed
Although Sheriff was regarded as a successful business tycoon, records available to Daily Correspondents show that Sheriff had never been successful with his business, which are mostly abandoned half way.
Checks revealed that he has no single investment in Nigeria or his Borno home where he has employed 100 people.
Said the source,”Sheriff has never had any successful business in his entire career as they crumble half way.
“Tell him to show you a single company he has either in Borno or any part of Nigeria, that he has employed 100 Nigerians, and you will discover none. How then has he been surviving? In fact, all the money he has been spending after leaving office are his loots from Borno treasury which he ferried to Chad to hide.
“You could imagine a former governor who collected a meagre N40 million for the Goodluck Jonathan campaign in 2015, when he is supposed to be the one that should be giving such money to the “boys” as we call it, for them to use for campaign. Not until he was implicated as those that benefitted from Dasukigate and compelled to return his own share to the EFCC in Maiduguri that we knew what happened.
“Only a broke former governor will descend so slow to accept N40million as his share of campaign money,” concluded the source.