British GCHQ spied on prominent Africans according to a new article by Le Monde. Nigeria’s industrialist Tony Elumelu was in the list.
Beyond France, the disclosures highlight the U.K.’s extensive spying operations across Africa. In 20 countries across the continent, GCHQ monitored current and former heads of state, prime ministers, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, as well as leading figures in the business and finance industry, Le Monde reports. Among those who were subject to the surveillance, which involved intercepting communications as they were being beamed between satellites, was a close British ally — Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and his strategic advisers. Other targets included Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua and his private secretary; Ghana’s President John Kufuor; Sierra Leone’s leader Ernest Koroma; and the presidential palace in Luanda, Angola. Prominent business figures were also monitored, such as Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu, regarded as one of Africa’s richest and most influential men, and Chris Kirubi, a wealthy Kenyan businessman.