By Ademola Akinbola
The Federal Government has risen in stout defence of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, who was accused of looting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during his tenure.
General Yakubu “Jack” Gowon (born 19 October 1934) is a Nigerian military leader who served as the head of state from 1966 to 1975. He ruled during the 30-month Nigerian Civil War, which resulted in the death of Three million people, mostly civilians.
Read details of the British MP’s allegations below:
However, in a statement signed by Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Government frowned at the baseless corruption allegations made by the British MP.
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to an outrageous and unsubstantiated allegation in the United Kingdom Parliament against retired General Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, a former Nigerian Head of State, by Mr. Tom Tugendhat, MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.
During a debate on a petition regarding the EndSARS protests in Nigeria, Tugendhat accused the respected former Head of State of corruption, saying “some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank and moved to London”.
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.
After due consultations and engagements with the Acting Nigerian High Commissioner in London, the Head of Africa Department of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Charlotte Pierre, expressed strong reservations on the comment of the Parliamentarian.
She further explained 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”.
She further urged the Government and the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to “discountenance the said comment of the MP, as Her Majesty’s Government has nothing to do with it”.
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