£4.2m loot: “Your ill-gotten wealth Not Welcome” – UK High Commissioner warns Nigerian politicians

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British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing

The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing says her country will not permit the stashing of ill-gotten wealth there.

She stated this Tuesday at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian and UK Governments regarding the return and management of stolen assets recovered from former Delta State Governor, James Ibori and associates.

“The return of these assets to Nigeria has been subject to a number of hard-fought legal challenges by third parties which were defeated in the UK courts.

“We will ensure the full weight of law enforcement to crack down on those who use, move or hide their proceed of crime in the UK,” she said.

In his address, Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, said, that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would transparently and efficiently utilise all recovered assets for the benefit of the Nigerian masses.

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He disclosed that £4.2m (N2.2bn) recovered from the convicted Ibori would be returned to Nigeria.

Malami said, “I wish to remark that today’s ceremony and the recoveries attached thereto has again underscored the fact that international cooperation and mutual trust can yield great benefits for the citizenry in developing countries who are the direct victims of acts of corruption.

“Hence, the governments of Nigeria and the United Kingdom have concluded negotiations for the return of £4.2m to Nigeria pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding earlier executed by the two governments in 2016.

“It is to be recalled that the Nigerian government had all along provided the required mutual assistance and backup to the British authorities while the prosecution of James Ibori lasted in London and today, we are rightfully taking benefit of that cooperation.”

Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, noted that the recovered loot would be used to fund some of infrastructural projects.

“The assets returned will support and assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria.

“The projects are the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja – Kano road and the second Niger Bridge that are being executed under the supervision of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.

“The project will boost economic growth and help alleviate poverty by connecting people and supply chains from the East to the West and to the Northern part of Nigeria,” Malami said.

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