Nigerian oil mogul, Kola Aluko, who is declared wanted by the EFCC, has been identified as the owner of Apartment 79, a penthouse apartment in One57, one of New York City’s most expensive residential buildings.
However, the New York Post reports that the apartment would be sold to the highest bidder by a Luxembourg based Banque Havilland, in a foreclosure auction in July.
It is understood that Aluko is owing the European bank millions of dollars for a mortgage he took out to purchase the $50.9 million (N16 billion) luxury condo in New York.
Banque Havilland, based in Luxembourg, issued a $35.3 million loan to Mr. Aluko to purchase the 79th-floor penthouse at 157 East 57th Street in New York, but the oil tycoon has missed several payments, leading the bank to force a sale of the property next month.
It was gathered that the penthouse sale is seen as the most expensive foreclosure in New York City.
The bank has listed Mr. Aluko’s 213-foot yacht as collateral and will collect the mortgage payment it’s owed, which was due last fall, plus interest.
In addition to his mortgage payment, Mr. Aluko owes property taxes and maintenance fees.
The energy businessman, a friend of stars such as Jay Z and Jamie Foxx, has not been seen for a while, which has sparked rumours that he is hiding away on his yacht, which was last registered in the Bahamas in May.
Apartment 79 was sold to a Aluko in December 2014 for $50.9 million, making it the eighth most expensive unit in the building, according to New York City property records.
Less than a year later however, he took out a $35.5 million mortgage from Banque Havilland in Luxembourg to help pay for the apartment.
When Mr. Aluko failed to pay the loan back a year later, the bank took possession of the 6,420-square-foot apartment, according to court documents.
Now the bank is planning to auction off the four-bedroom apartment on July 19 to regain the mortgage plus interest.
“It’s probably the most-expensive foreclosure we’ve ever seen in luxury development. I don’t know of a foreclosure that’s larger than that,” Donna Olshan, president of high-end Manhattan brokerage Olshan Realty Inc., told newsmen.
Mr. Aluko is also avoiding Nigerian authorities who tried to freeze his asset in February as part of a money-laundering probe that also involves ex-Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, one of his ally.
It was alleged that Mr. Aluko, along with Jide Omokore, stole over $1.7 billion in oil assets from the federal government.