The Nigerian government has demanded an apology from the United Kingdom after its parliamentarian, Tom Tugendhat accused Yakubu Gowon, a former head of state, of looting half of the nation’s treasury.
Recall that Tugendhat, at a parliament’s debate on request for sanction of Nigerian government officials over alleged rights violations during the #EndSARS protest, said Gowon stole half of Nigeria’s wealth when he was ousted in a 1975 coup and fled into exile in the UK.
But the former head of dismissed the accussation, describing it as rubbish.
However, in a statement on Friday, Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the British MP’s allegation was “outrageous and unsubstantiated.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Nigerian High Commission in London, immediately sought an apology and retraction of the unsubstantiated allegation from the British Government,” Nwoye added.
The Foreign Affairs ministry spokesperson further added that Charlotte Pierre, the Head of Africa Department of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, had “expressed strong reservations” on Mr Tugendhat’s allegation.
It also quoted Ms Pierre as saying that, “the said comment of the MP does not reflect the views of Her Majesty’s Government and the British Government has no mechanism for controlling the actions and speeches of members of the Parliament.
Ms Pierre also urged the government and people of Nigeria in the statement to “discountenance the said comment of the MP as Her Majesty’s Government has nothing to do with it”.