A British lawmaker has just revealed that former military leader General Yakubu Gowon has stolen half of Nigeria central bank funds. The lawmaker and member of the United Kingdom parliament accused General Yakubu Gowon, a former Nigerian Head of State of stealing half of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) funds.
CNN reports that the British parliament member made the allegation on Monday, November 23, 2020 during the House deliberation on the aftermath of the EndSARS protest, and possible sanctions to be meted on top Nigerians politicians regarding the roles they played in the killing of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate.
The parliamentarian said; “What we are seeing in Nigeria today is part of that story. It is a tragedy we are all witnessing because we see things falling apart. The problem this time is not foreign pressure known as colonialism. The pressure instead is corruption and violence and attempts at control of power.
“We need to call out the corruption, we need to use the powers that we have in this country to stop those who are profiting from the wealth of that great nation and hiding it here. Now some people will remember when General Yakubu Gowon left Nigeria, he took half of the Central Bank and moved to London.
“We know today, even now in this great city of ours, there are sadly some people who have taken the wealth of Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here. We know that our banks sadly have been used for that profit or that illegal transfer of asset and that means that the UK is in a unique position in being able to actually do something to really exert pressure on those who have robbed Nigerians” he stated.
However, former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has denied the accusation made by a British parliament of stealing half of Nigeria Central Bank funds describing the allegation as rubbish.
The Conservative member of the British parliament Tom Tugendhat said in the UK parliament on Monday that some people will remember when General Yakubu Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank of Nigeria funds and moved to London.
But, in an exclusive interview with the BBC, General Yakubu Gowon took issues with the accusation, and said; “I don’t know where he got that rubbish from, I served Nigeria diligently and my records are there for all to see.”
After leaving power in a bloodless coup in 1975, General Yakubu Gowon went to the UK and enrolled at Warwick University as an undergraduate where he studied political science and international relations.
Tugendhat was speaking during a parliamentary debate on whether the British government should impose sanctions on Nigerian top officials involved in the alleged excessive use of force on peaceful protesters during last month’s anti-police brutality demonstrations.
He went on to argue that London has a peculiar political influence because it is the place thieves choose to launder stolen money.
According to his words; “We know that today, even now in this great city of ours, there are some people who have taken from the Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here.
“Sadly, we know that our banks have been used for those profits and for that illegal transfer of assets. That means that the UK is in unique position of being able to do something to exert pressure on those who have robbed the Nigerian people.”
In the 1990s, investigators found that another Nigerian President General Sani Abacha stole millions of dollars in banknotes direct from the Nigerian Central Bank before he died suddenly in 1998.
While hundreds of millions of dollars have been returned to Nigeria from bank accounts in places ranging from Switzerland and Jersey, the case is still pending in the UK courts.