By John Okeke
The Federal Government has condemned the allegation of corruption against the former military Head of State , retired General Yakubu Gowon by Mr. Tom Tugendhat, MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.
This was contained in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye .
However, Nigeria has called for an apology and the retraction of the statement from the by Mr. Tom Tugendhat, MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.
“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”.
According the statement, 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 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 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.