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EXTRA: Gilbert Chagoury listed as Tinubu’s ‘confidante’ in Nigeria’s delegation to COP28

EXTRA: Gilbert Chagoury listed as Tinubu’s ‘confidante’ in Nigeria’s delegation to COP28
December 03
08:30 2023

Gilbert Chagoury, the Lebanese-Nigerian businessman, is in the country’s delegation to COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

In a list published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the billionaire was named as a “confidante” of President Bola Tinubu.

The Nigerian State House is listed as Chagoury’s “organisation” while it was indicated that he is in a “paid relationship/contract with the nominating entity”.

A check through the delegates list of the 198 participating countries showed that no other country has a “confidante” of its president in the delegation.

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Chagoury was born in Nigeria to Lebanese immigrants. He co-founded the Chagoury Group in Lagos in 1971. The conglomerate owns construction, real estate, hotel, glass and flour milling businesses.

He is also a major funder of the Eko Atlantic project through South Energyx Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group.

The Lebanese-Nigerian had a close association with the late Sani Abacha, former Nigerian military ruler, in the 1990s, and his businesses reportedly flourished during this period.

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In 2000, he was reportedly convicted by a Swiss court for laundering some of the funds Abacha looted from Nigeria.

Chagoury reportedly agreed to pay a fine of about one million Swiss francs (about $600,000 at the time) and handed back $66 million to the Nigerian government.

He, however, denied knowing that the funds were stolen.

Nigeria has 1,411 delegates at COP28 — the third-highest at the conference alongside China.

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The UAE accounted for the largest-ever registered delegation of any country, with 4,409 badges, followed by Brazil with 3,081.

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