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Pandora Papers Expose President of Azerbaijan’s $500 Million London Real Estate Portfolio


Last Updated: 10 minutes Ago
  • Ilham Aliyev has been president of Azerbaijan since October 31, 2003. He was elected after his father Heydar, the former president, died. Ilham’s election allegedly featured an extraordinary amount of fraud. Not a great note to start out on, and his time in office has not exactly been a shining example of leadership. During his tenure as president, Aliyev has been accused of corruption, bribery, human rights abuses, torturing journalists, and vote-rigging.
  • The Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe and the Human Rights Watch reported arrests of Aliyav’s opposing candidates, widespread fraud and abuse in the election, and police violence against journalists and people taking part in election rallies. In 2012, Ilham Aliyev was named the person of the year in organized crime and corruption by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. The Aliyev family was also implicated in a complicated money-laundering scheme in 2017 paid bribes to prominent European politicians in exchange for them offering a positive image of his presidency.
  • The country is rich in oil. This oil has made the ruling family wealthy. Extremely wealthy.
  • Over the years, extended members of the Aliyev family have built up enormous fortunes thanks to their ownership of several state-run industries The Aliyev family owns large parts of several Azerbaijani banks, construction firms, and the country’s oil and gas industries.
  • Their wealth is hidden through a complicated network of offshore companies. Prior to the Pandora Papers leak, we estimated that Ilham Aliyev was personally worth $500 million. We might need to double that number, especially if you include his children and other family members.
  • According to the Pandora Papers, Aliyev’s three kids, Leyla, Arzu, and Heydar are listed as shareholders in 44 companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. Five of these  companies were allegedly used to buy $120 million of high-end property in London between 2006 and 2009.
  • According to the Panama Papers, the ruling family of Azerbaijan owns more than $500 million worth of real estate in London alone.
  • Over in Dubai his children reportedly own $75 million worth of real estate.
  • Queen Elizabeth has also been dragged into the mud thanks to the Pandora Papers and Ilham Aliyev. It’s being reported that in 2018 The Crown Estate, which manages all of the Queen’s finances and real estate holdings, paid $91 million for an eight-story office and retail building in the Mayfair area of London through The Crown Estate. The sellers were allegedly members of the Aliyev family. The sellers took home a $42 million profit on the sale of the real estate to Queen Elizabeth. The property was bought in 2009 for $48 million through a company owned by Aliyev’s daughter Arzu.

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Entertainment News

How Nollywood roles influenced Yul Edochie’s reality

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Following the recent scandals in the entertainment circles of Nigeria, it may be safe to say that many of the movies produced in Nigeria are perhaps the real lives of the movie producers.

This assumption now appears a bit factual considering the current happenings in the family of leading Nollywood actor, director and writer, Yul Edochie.

The actor recently made public his decision to take a second wife who also happened to be one of his colleagues in the movie industry.

His decision which has so far generated backlashes on social media is one pointer to how moviemakers turn their real lives into movie scripts or turn their scripts into real-life experiences.

There is a wise saying that movies can affect society in both positive and negative ways and that man cannot act in isolation.

Films also expand one’s basic knowledge of the world around them and can create violence, bad habits or good habits and can send a bad or good message to the public.

Now, the question is, what message has Yul Edochie sent out to the public? This may be rhetorical but insightful.

Edochie has played various movie roles in which he is entangled between two or more women. In most cases, he marries a beautiful wife and gets involved with another outside his home.

Edochie and his new wife, Judy may have taken their movie roles more seriously than anyone could have imagined, having moved their on-set romance to real life.

We have seen movies where Edochie and Judy acted as a couple in a love triangle.

For instance in the movies ‘My marriage fears, The native girl, Edochie played the character of a city man who married a woman brought to him from the village by his mother, interestingly, the village wife’s character was played by Judy.

There is an unwritten rule that actresses and actors cannot be judged by the roles they play in movies, especially when their characters are flat, static or pure evil.

For instance, seeing movie veteran, Kanayo O. Kanayo at Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial raining Naira notes and throwing wads of dollars in the air will immediately drag one’s attention to his numerous ritualist adventures in front of the cameras in a movie.

Back to Yul and his marriage scandal, there are now questions whether his decision was with the consent of his wife, May. Did May approve the decision of Edochie to take a second wife? Did his family support his decision? And most importantly, whether Yul was influenced by his acting roles or was this a mere coincidence?

Concerning questions about his first wife consenting to his taking a second wife, Yul’s brother, Uche Edochie had taken to Instagram to reveal that May did not agree to a polygamous home and that the best the family can do is to console her at the moment.

May had confirmed Uche’s revelation with a cryptic message she dropped on social media pronouncing God’s judgement on Edochie and his second wife.

Yul’s brother also disclosed that his family was against the decision of taking a second wife but the actor went ahead with his decision.

Despite the opinions of Nigerians, Edochie hailed himself for taking responsibility for his actions and stepping up, unlike other men who are hypocrites.

There are indications from Judy’s page that the affair between the two may have started when they worked together on movies he directed and acted in as far back as October 2021. On her page, she has videos celebrating Pete Edochie and also Yul.

Since logic is a way to come to conclusions and morality a way to evaluate actions as good or evil, let us evaluate the views of some Nigerians on this trending issue:

Veteran comedian, Ali Baba speaking on TVC on Thursday on the matter said in Africa polygamy is acceptable, therefore Edochie’s action is difficult to judge.

He said although it is difficult to accept a second wife, it is our reality and people will have to learn to deal with it.

He said, “The African setting is polygamous but we embraced the western setting. Polygamy is not wrong in an African setting. Would you have preferred Edochie to have the lady as a baby mama than a second wife? We don’t know his relationship with his wife, her response to his post speaks a lot of volumes about their relationship.

Some women back in the day would allow their husbands to get a second wife to fulfil his needs if she cannot satisfy him. Things like this happen but it is the family and orientation. If it is a Muslim family it wouldn’t be a problem.

“No matter what, even in a Muslim home the second wife will not accept a third wife. It is difficult to accept a second wife but this is the reality and we have to deal with it.”

Mr Chukwudi, a marriage counsellor from Imo State posited that Edochie and Judy have acted in various movies including Igbo movies as a couple and it is sad to see this coming to reality.

Edochie had always praised his wife for how loving she had been and supportive so this is a betrayal to her and a fault on his part, Chukwudi told Estherblog.

According to him, “Edochie did wrong to his wife because from the second wife’s social media page you can see that they both have been working together and that means having an affair from 2021.

“Legally, it is wrong to marry another woman without the consent of the first wife, Biblically as a Christian, it is not acceptable but traditionally in some places in Igbo land you must pay the bride price before you can have access to your child. This may have been one of the reasons Yul Edochie went ahead to marry her.

But paying bride price of a second wife traditionally must be done with the first wife’s consent and publicly not how Edochie did his.”

With trending videos of scenes from movies Edochie acted with Judy Austin, Nigerians have come to the conclusion that the time spent on scenes may have influenced the actor’s choice of getting a second wife.

Estherblog spoke to a mother of four, Mrs Ekanem who posited that Edochie’s action may have hindered other married women in future from achieving their dreams of being actresses.

This Edochie’s story shows that sometimes all that happens in movies happens in real life. He has made things difficult for married women who want to be actresses as their husbands will find it difficult to trust them in love scenes.

“No matter what his wife did, it is wrong for him to marry a second wife unless he wants to convert to Islam. It is really wrong because this seems like a case of him cheating and the lady falling pregnant which forced him to get married.

This should serve as a lesson to young men out there who feel cheating is a normal thing, they should know that their homes will never be peaceful once they start cheating and this will affect the children in the long run.”

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