Nigeria

Looting Allegation: Southern, Middle Belt leaders back Gowon, challenge British lawmaker

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, has expressed reservation over the allegation that former military head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), looted half of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, during his tenure as Head of State.

The forum believes that if General Gowon had half of the CBN in a foreign bank, going to school would probably not have been his pre-occupation.

Recall that Gowon was accused of looting half of the CBN by a United Kingdom member of Parliament, Tom Tugendhat, last week, during a hearing of a petition against the Nigerian government at a committee meeting of the parliament.

A statement issued by Chief Edward K. Clark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief John Nwodo and Dr. Pogu Bitrus; South-South, South West, South East and Middle Belt respectively on: “On Looting Allegation Against General Gowon”, described the accusation as baseless.

The forum recalled that General Gowon was overthrown while at the OAU conference in Kampala in 1975, from where he moved to London, where he became a student for years, wondering how he could have moved such money when on the run.

It explained that if Gen. Gowon had half of the CBN in a foreign bank, going to school would probably not have been his preoccupation.

The group observed that while it stands for holding leaders accountable for their stewardship, it would not support maligning people without facts.

The forum affirmed that they stand for integrity in public life and would not shield corruption, but were not aware of any such accusation against Gen Gowon since he was overthrown 45 years ago.

It called on the British lawmaker, who was born a year after the coup of 1975 in Nigeria, to check the facts again and do the needful if he was wrong or back up the allegation if he has any evidence, to retain his credibility and the institutional integrity of the British Parliament.

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