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

27 November 2020

Nigeria has sought apology and retraction from the British government after a parliamentarian accused Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria's former Head of State, of looting public treasury, Abuja has said.

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

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

The accusation, however, became a subject of controversy in Nigeria especially on Twitter. Mr Gowon dismissed it as "rubbish", BBC reported.

In a statement by Nigeria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed by Ferdinand Nwonye, the ministry's spokesperson, on Friday, the ministry described the MP's allegation as "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," the statement said.

It 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.

The statement 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.

The statement added that Ms Pierre urged the government and people of Nigeria to "discountenance the said comment of the MP as Her 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.

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

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, also spoke in defence of Mr Gowon on Thursday, warning against "misinformation".

More From: Premium Times

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.