UK ready to repatriate looted Nigerian funds – Envoy

By The Citizen
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The United Kingdom says its ready to repatriate the looted Nigerian funds in the UK banks, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright has said.

Arkwright told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the UK Government had no intention of holding onto the money.

According to him, however, there are certain legal requirements that Nigeria had not met to facilitate the repatriation of the funds.

'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.

'They (money) will be returned, there is absolutely no doubt about it,' he said.

Arkwright said it was untrue that the UK was not ready to repatriate the money back to the Nigerian Government but that issues around were being discussed.

He however refused to disclose the exact amount to be repatriated.

He 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 anti-corruption 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,' he said.

The envoy, however, said there was the need to extract the commitment of the federal government that the money would be judiciously spent when repatriated.

'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 added.