Gowon dismisses allegation of looting CBN

NEWS DIGEST – Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has dismissed the allegations of money laundering levelled against him by a member of the United Kingdom parliament.

The elder statesman condemned the claims in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, three days after the UK lawmaker, Tom Tugendhat, accused him of looting half of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He stated that it was disappointing that a British parliamentarian could make such a statement without checking the facts.

“It is certainly surprising, and I am disappointed that a British parliamentarian could make such a statement without checking the facts of what he was saying.

“I honestly was disappointed that such a remark is made,” the former Nigerian leader told Channels Television London correspondent via telephone.

He insisted that there was no time when he was held or questioned for money laundering, stressing that the allegation that he looted the nation’s treasury was false.

General Gowon, who said he heard about the allegation from social media, insisted that there was nothing to hide and the record was there for the lawmaker and the British authorities to check.

He also called on the UK government to take the necessary step to order, stressing that making an allegation of such was an insult to him and Nigeria as a nation.

The former Head of State said, “The record of my service to the nation is there for everybody to see and even the British government itself, and I don’t know why somebody got the information to make such a very ridiculous statement.

“I am disappointed with that one and I hope the British authority will do something to rightly bring that parliamentarian to order to check his facts before he makes such allegation because it is more or less an insult to the leadership of Nigeria and certainly an insult to me to say that I did something of the sort to take half of Nigeria’s Central Bank and I must have put it in a British bank.”

“So, he should check all the British banks to see whether any such thing has happened, and he (the UK lawmaker) will be surprised that I was not being held for money laundering,” he added.

General Gowon, 86, served as the Head of State from 1966 to 1975.

Tugendhat had accused General Gowon and some other leaders in Nigeria of robbing the people during a debate on a petition on #EndSARS at the UK parliament.

He also alleged that the leaders ran to London to hide the loots, adding that British banks were used for illegal transfer of assets.