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No fewer than 10 former Nigerian governors have been properties worth £56 million (about ₦30bn) in the United Kingdom a new report has shown.
The report which centered on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also revealed that at least 216 properties are owned by 13 law enforcement officers in different parts of the UAE.
The report which was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) was done in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
The identities of the former governors were however not revealed.
The report titled, ‘Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A critical review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.’ was presented by Dr. Gbenga Oduntan of the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK.
Commenting on the report, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said funds stolen from Nigeria and taken to the UK and UAE were mind-boggling.
He noted that both countries have become enablers of illicit funds and stressed the need to challenge external collaborators aiding the flow of illicit funds out of Nigeria.
“We should make it difficult for people to take out the proceeds of crimes,” he said, adding that the UK and UAE should protect their systems from “those toxic resources.”
The HEDA Chairman noted that while over $50billion is lost annually to illicit financial flow in Africa, Nigeria is the leading country in terms of IFF.
Oduntan, who presented the research report, said apart from the huge amount of money illegally stashed abroad by politically exposed persons in Nigeria, $15bn alone is lost to tax evasion by multinationals in Nigeria.
In addition, he said there is heavy under-invoicing between Nigeria and the UK, adding that fixing Nigeria’s illicit financial flow would require the destination countries to collaborate with the country in shutting their systems against suspected proceeds of crimes.
However, he lamented that this is not the case, saying in UAE findings show that prosecution of money laundering cases is very low.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK