The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria has not fulfilled the legal requirement needed to facilitate the repatriation of looted funds stashed in the United Kingdom.
Arkwright who made this known in a media chat, however, said that the United Kingdom is ready to repatriate the looted Nigerian funds in UK banks, assuring that the UK Government has no intention of holding unto the money.
The envoy, however, insisted that there was the need to extract the commitment of the Federal 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 Nigerian people. Clearly, there are legal requirements that we have to meet. We are working with the Nigerian Government to see what we can do to return those funds. The money will be returned, there is absolutely no doubt about it,” he said.
The Envoy denied allegations that the UK was not willing to repatriate the funds saying, it is untrue that the UK was not ready to repatriate the money back to the Nigerian Government but that issues around were being discussed.
Arkwright who declined to disclose the exact amount in question, explained that everything was being done to fast-track the repatriation process.
“The Prime Minister’s anti-corruption summit will be held in May; we are hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari will attend that summit in London. We expect that there will be some further news on how we can accelerate 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.