Igho Sanomi, a Nigerian billionaire oil trader, is about to lose three apartments he owns in London to a Credit Suisse bank over a $3million debt.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Sanomi, 43, was a guarantor for a credit facility extended to a subsidiary company of Taleveras Group, the multinational energy-trading firm he owns. Credit Suisse has already seized Sanomi’s Bombardier 5000 private jet in the past, and has since put it up for sale.
Credit Suisse is not the only financial institution Igho Sanomi owes money. Last year, another Swiss Bank, Banque Cantonale de Geneva made a freezing order against the London properties, and Dutch bank ING Groep NV also filed a suit against Taleveras’s over unpaid debts running into several million dollars.
Last week, Andre Brown, Credit Suisse’s counsel, submitted in a London court that the three properties owned by Sanomi, including luxury apartments in Chelsea, West London, and Belgravia, have already been identified as assets that may have to be forfeited if he loses. Igho Sanomi was not represented in court, and his lawyers at Clyde & Co confirmed that the young business mogul has not put in any defence or objection to the charging orders.
Igho Sanomi’s company, Taleveras Group, thrived during the reign of Nigeria’s former president Goodluck Jonathan, but has struggled to survive in the current political dispensation. During Jonathan’s reign, Taleveras traded more than 100 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil annually on behalf of the State-owned oil company, NNPC. The company is also reportedly making moves to venture into biofuels.
Igho Charles Sanomi II is the son of the late Dickens Sanomi, a retired Assistant Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Force. He has a Bachelors degree in Geology and Mining from the University of Jos, Nigeria. He made his foray into the energy trading business in the mid 90s, when he co-founded Sarian Oil, a company that helped secure large oil trading contracts in Nigeria for large trading houses in Switzerland. In 2004, he founded Taleveras Group, a conglomerate that now has investments in oil exploration in Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire and power operations in Nigeria. Taleveras has offices in London, Geneva, Cape Town, Dubai, Ivory Coast, Abuja and Lagos. His foundation, the Dickens Sanomi Foundation, provides scholarships to impoverished children in Nigeria. Sanomi has a net worth of $1.4 billion according to the Wealth-X dossier.