The United Kingdom has dissociated itself from the allegation of financial looting levelled against a former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, by a member of its parliament, Tom Tugendhat.
According to The Nation, the action followed a petition to the British Parliament by a group, Igbo for a Progressive Nigeria (IPAN), demanding details about the allegation.
Tugendhat, had on November 23 during a debate by British lawmakers on Nigerian government officials allegedly involved in human rights abuses amid the #EndSARS protests, accused Gowon of looting half of the Central Bank of Nigeria while he was the head of state.
Replying IPAN’s petition in a letter dated December 21 and signed by a member of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Nigeria Unit, one Angela disclosed that Tom Tugendhat made the statement in his own personal capacity, and not for the British Parliament or United Kingdom.
Angela said: “Thank you for your email of 29 November to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office about the debate on Nigeria.
“I am replying as a member of the FCDO Nigeria Unit. I recognise there is concern about the comments made by Tom Tugendhat MP about former Nigerian Head of State, General Gowon, during the Westminster Hall debate on 23 November.
“I would like to clarify that Mr Tugendhat was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the UK Government.
“The High Commissioner has written to the Nigerian Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, as well as to General Gowon, to reiterate this point. Yours Sincerely, Angela.”
SaharaReporters, New York