Nigeria Demands Apology From UK Government Over MP’s Allegation Against Gowon

The Nigerian government is seeking an apology and retraction from the British government after a British MP accused former Nigerian head of state Yakubu Gowon of looting the public treasury.

British MP Tom Tugendhat, during a debate on Tuesday on a petition on arbitrary use of force and brutality by Nigerian security forces, said: “Some people will remember when General Gown left Nigeria with the half of the Central Bank and moved to London. “

Mr Tugendhat, who is the chairman of the British House of Commons foreign affairs committee, did not substantiate his claim with any evidence or detail.

However, the accusation became a subject of controversy in Nigeria, especially on Twitter. Gowon dismissed it as “garbage,” the BBC reported.

In a statement from the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed by Ferdinand Nwonye, ​​the ministry spokesman, on Friday, the ministry described the MP’s accusation as “outrageous and baseless.”

“The Foreign Office, through the Nigerian High Commissioner in London, immediately requested an apology and a retraction of the unsubstantiated accusation from the British government,”
the statement said.

He added that Charlotte Pierre, Head of the African Department at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, had “expressed strong reservations” about Mr. Tugendhat’s accusation.

The statement quoted Ms Pierre as saying that “the MP’s aforementioned comment does not reflect the views of Her Majesty’s government and the British government has no mechanism to control the actions and speeches of Members of Parliament.

The statement added that Ms Pierre urged the Nigerian government and people to “Dismiss the said comment of the MP since His Majesty’s Government has nothing to do with it.”

Ms Pierre could not be immediately reached for comment and confirmation of the statements Abuja attributed to her.

Gowon, Nigeria’s military leader between 1966 and 1975, led the country through the 30-month Civil War (1967-1970) and was overthrown in a coup while attending a defunct OAU meeting in Kampala, Uganda on July 29, 1975 by Murtala Mohammed, his successor.