The British government has denied allegations that it aids corruption in Nigeria, saying it is committed to repatriating Nigeria’s looted funds kept in the country.
The denial was made following an allegation by a United Kingdom-based organisation, Security in Africa.
According to a director of the organisation, Ben Oguntala, the British government allegedly aids and abets corrupt leaders in Nigeria and other African countries.
Oguntala had told our correspondent last week that it would be very difficult for the loot recovery efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to yield positive results given the insincerity of the UK government toward fighting corruption in Africa.
The SIA director stated that history had shown that western governments, particularly the UK government, welcomed corruption and fraudulent monies, especially from Africa.
He added that none of the monies recovered from Umaru Dikko between 1979 and 1983 and from James Ibori was returned to the Federal Government, thereby creating “double theft” of the money from Nigeria.
Responding to the allegations via email, the UK High Commission in Nigeria on Thursday told SUNDAY PUNCH, “The UK government does not aid corruption in any form in Nigeria or elsewhere. We recognise that tackling corruption is critical to Nigeria’s economic prosperity.
“Corruption deters business, harms service delivery and undermines trust in government. We are working with the Nigerian government to support progress against corruption and stand ready to help further. The UK government’s intervention with respect to the Umaru Dikko case was in response to a violation of the UK laws prohibiting kidnap and abduction.”
According to the High Commission, Britain believes that those guilty of corruption should be brought to justice.
“The prosecution and conviction of James Ibori in a UK court demonstrates our commitment to this agenda. We are working closely with Nigerian authorities to deliver an effective mechanism for the return of stolen funds and assets from Nigeria.
“Allegations in relation to this case have been investigated by the CDC and the Parliamentary Ombudsman. We have already implemented all of the Ombudsman’s findings and, as we have made clear previously, we are ready to look at any new information regarding this case,” it said.
I weep for my country!