Mr. Paul Arkwright, British High Commis¬sioner to Nigeria, has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has not fulfilled the legal requirement needed to fa¬cilitate the repatriation of looted funds stashed in the United King¬dom.
The diplomat, who made this known in a media chat, however, said that the United Kingdom is ready to repatriate the looted Ni¬gerian funds in UK banks, assuring that the UK Government has no in¬tention of holding unto the money.
He, however, insist¬ed that there was the need to ex¬tract the commitment of the Fed¬eral Government that the money would be judiciously spent when repatriated.
“We (UK) have no intention of holding onto Nigerian funds: they belong to the Nigerian people and they should be returned to the Ni¬gerian people. Clearly, there are legal requirements that we have to meet. We are working with the Ni-gerian Government to see what we can do to return those funds. The money will be returned, there is ab¬solutely no doubt about it,” he said.
The Envoy denied allegations that the UK was not willing to re¬patriate the funds saying, it is un¬true that the UK was not ready to repatriate the money back to the Nigerian Government but that is¬sues around were being discussed.
Arkwright who declined to dis¬close the exact amount in question, explained that everything was be¬ing done to fast-track the repatria¬tion process.
“The Prime Minister’s anti-corruption summit will be held in May; we are hoping that Presi¬dent Muhammadu Buhari will at¬tend that summit in London. We expect that there will be some fur¬ther news on how we can acceler¬ate that process of repatriating the funds.
“I think we have no intention of holding onto this money, despite some of the reports in the press.
“We need to make sure that the money is well spent when it returns to Nigeria. We need to make sure that we can do that in a proper way, which is fully in compliance with the British law,” he said.