A Nigerian politician is selling his Aura penthouse
Victor Ochei is the former speaker of the Delta State Assembly, a legislative body that represents Delta State, an oil-producing region in southern Nigeria. He’s also a member of a much-talked-about but little-seen demographic: foreign investors who buy luxury Toronto real estate by the handful.
Ochei and his wife, Hanatu, own at least three condos in Aura, one of Toronto’s tallest and priciest condo towers. One of those units, a penthouse on the 78th floor, went on the market late last month for $3,688,888. It’s a 3,100-square-foot suite with two bedrooms and a den, plus two parking spaces and a storage locker on a lower floor. Ochei closed on the property in March 2016—meaning he owned the unit for just under three months before putting it up for sale. It’s not clear whether he, or anyone else, has ever lived there. His original purchase price was $2,499,115.
Ochei closed on his other two Aura condos in 2015. One of them, a smaller unit on the building’s 56th floor, is titled in Hanatu’s name. The couple bought it for $1,002,832. The third unit, a 77th-floor penthouse, originally cost Ochei $2,929,524.
It’s possible the couple bought all three condos at roughly the same time, during the pre-construction phase of Aura’s development. Ochei couldn’t be reached for confirmation, and his local real estate agent declined comment.
Ochei was first elected to the Delta State Assembly in 2003. On top of his political activities, he claims to be the founder of an engineering and construction company called Davnotch Nigeria.
In 2009, while Ochei was a member of the Assembly, Davnotch won a lucrative government contract related to the construction of a power plant in Nigeria. According to reports in the Nigerian press, the power plant was never completed and much of the funding is unaccounted for. The Financial Times reports that the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office is investigating the possibility that the Rolls-Royce corporation bribed Nigerian officials in exchange for the right to supply gas turbines for the project. Ochei has denied any wrongdoing. On his website, he claims to have divested all his Davnotch holdings in 2011, the same year he became speaker of the Delta State Assembly. He resigned his position in 2014.