Oritsejafor & Nigerian personal jet buyers: Is the “Bank of Utah” taking over where disgraced Riggs National Bank ended? – Tola Adenle

October 8, 2014


A follow-up story by about investigations into a story it broke earlier about a jet belonging to one of Nigeria’s prosperity pastors that was used to ferry over $9m in cash to South Africa just caught my attention. It seems to point to a bank known as “Bank of Utah” as doing some unclear business with public officials from Nigeria and perhaps Pastor Oritsejafor who bought jets and have them in the name of the bank.

Please note that this essay is not about Nigerian politicians whose primitive appetite for stealing has left most Nigerians numb, nor is it really about supposed pastors whose goal is to, first, take their followers to the cleaners in the cult-like “churches” they run and then find ways to join the top politicians in a unique reversal to Christianity’s early days when the church and the state were one.

It is about a service they’ve all somehow discovered in their cooperative effort to fleece Nigeria and lay to waste a country so richly blessed. It is a short wondering-aloud on America’s “The Bank of Utah.

By the way, Utah is perhaps America’s most conservative state and prides itself on “family values”, et cetera.

“The Bank of Utah” seems to me to be doing what is not much different from what a D.C. area bank, Riggs did years ago, and had to close shop after over a century of doing business: Riggs hid money for those people; “the Bank of Utah” is hiding what?

Read the story, then the following excerpt about the Riggs Bank:


Some years ago, the Riggs Bank, a Washington, D.C. veritable commercial bank had stories in newspapers about dirty dealings that stretched from the desert Saudi Kingdom to Pinochet-era Chile and, never to be left out, African rulers ably represented by Equitorial Guinea’s President Mbasogo.

Before I started blogging 3 1/2 years ago, I wrote an essay for The Nation on Sunday: “Nigeria’s free fall into the corruption cesspool continues”. I posted it on on April 23, 2012.

Here are two paras from that essay as referenced to the corrupt Mbasogo but now, as a reference to the “Bank of Utah” that is acting as – pardon me for I know no other word – worse than bag man for those buying jets in Nigeria today. Of course I have no access or knowledge of the documentations of these flying Nigerian governors, men of Nigeria’s god, et al. but I cannot understand the difference between the banking that went on behind those heavy doors of the top bosses at Riggs with the Saudis, Mbasogo … and what the bank in the land of the most religious people in America – the Mormons – are up to today:

I remember that about seven years ago, the old Riggs Bank – I once temped (temporary secretary) at the downtown D.C. Bank back in the 70s – was slapped with $25 million for not reporting large money deposits to the appropriate government regulatory agencies. These supposedly dated back to the 70s and included the Saudis, Pinochet of Chile and, of course, an African head of State.

“In July 2004, the US Senate published an investigation into Riggs Bank, into which most of Equatorial Guinea’s oil revenues were paid until recently. This showed that accounts based at the embassy to the United States of Equatorial Guinea were allowed to make large withdrawals without properly notifying federal authorities. At least $35 million were siphoned off by long-time dictator of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, his family and senior officials of his regime. Simon Kareri, the Riggs employee in charge of the Equatorial Guinea and other accounts, stands accused of money-laundering in separate charges. As the account manager, it is alleged that he established a fake holding company in his wife’s name, and diverted funds into this account”. [Wikipedia.]

Riggs went under and became part of Bank PNC.


I know that the stories of governors who purchased jets have been around for a while but I still cannot stop wondering why a Nigerian governor would spend $45 million to buy a jet for his use or how pastors would ride around in jets when more than 90% of their followers are dirt poor.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014. 9:30 p.m. [GMT]

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