Embattled Nigerian Senate president Bukola Saraki on Tuesday brushed off allegations of wrongdoing concerning his wife’s offshore assets revealed in the Panama Papers as he defended himself in court Tuesday against fraud charges. The latest graft claim to hit the senate president emerged from the “Panama Papers” investigation into a trove of 11.5 million tax documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which specialises in creating offshore shell companies. Saraki is alleged to have failed to declare at least four offshore assets listed under his wife Toyin’s name that appear in the leaked documents, according to investigation media partner Nigerian newspaper Premium Times. Under Nigerian law, it is mandatory for the president, the vice-president, state governors and their deputies to declare their assets along with those of their wife and children under 18 when they take office and before stepping down. But Saraki said he did not do anything illegal and argued that the assets are listed as part of his wife’s “family estate.” “I’ve fully complied with law on asset declaration,” Saraki said in a statement issued on Monday posted on his website.
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