United States-based media firm, Bloomberg, has revealed that a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), is worth an estimated $1.2bn (N432bn).
Danjuma, who was among prominent Nigerians exposed in Panama Papers in 2017, had also been named among those with secret accounts, operated with codes, with the Swiss branch of banking giant, HSBC.
In the Bloomberg latest report, Danjuma owns not fewer than 30 properties worldwide some of which include hotels, luxury apartments and others.
Bloomberg said in a report that Danjuma had also acquired the ‘Kings Arms Hotel’, a 300-year-old inn next to London’s Hampton Court Palace, once the home of King Henry VIII, where a room goes for about 250 pounds ($318) a night.
The report read in part, “In this most English of settings, it’s fitting the owner is a retired military man still referred to as “General.” But for Theophilus Danjuma, this is just one investment in a network of assets that span at least three continents.
“The 80-year-old Nigerian is worth $1.2bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with his family office managing a portion of that wealth, often through low-key holdings such as the 14-room hotel.”
Hannatu Gentles, the second daughter of the retired general, told Bloomberg that the property was indeed bought by the family at 2.4m pounds (N1.09bn).
“This is the first, and will possibly be the last, listed building we’ve worked on,” Gentles said. “It’s taken longer than we wanted, but our name is attached to the building and we want to be proud of our work. It’s been a hard slog.”
Danjuma had his hay days in the oil sector where he formerly owned an oil block in 1998 by the regime of former dictator and fellow army officer Sani Abacha, making him one of a handful of Nigerians made extraordinarily wealthy from the country’s energy reserves.
He originally teamed up with Total SA and Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA on the block. The minority stake that Danjuma’s company now owns is worth $450m, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index.
“Beyond the UK, they own real estate in California and have bought and sold property in Singapore. Their family office also oversees private equity investments, trust funds and a venture capital arm that backs family-run art and film companies. The Danjumas own more than 30 properties worldwide, filings show,” the report stated.
In addition to the Kings Arms Hotel, the Danjumas have developed residential properties this year in Esher and Wimbledon. They also own a boutique hotel in Lagos, serving beef carpaccio and lobster bisque in one of three dining areas and displaying works from the family’s art firm.