The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has said that sent a message to Nigerian politicians in the country stating that, ill-gotten money are not welcomed in the united kingdom.
Ms. Laing, made this statement on Tuesday, during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the united kingdom and Nigeria for the refund of former Gov. James Ibori’s confiscated assets in the UK at the Ministry of Justice.
She further said, the MoU will return over £4.2million pounds recovered from the associates and families of james ibori to the Nigerian government.
“The return of these assets to Nigeria has been subjected to a number of hard-fought legal challenges by third parties which were defeated in the UK courts. We will make sure the full weight of law agencies is mete upon those who come to hide their illegal proceed of crime in the UK.
On February 2012, James Ibori pleaded guilty in high court in UK to money laundering, conspiracy to defraud, and forgery and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Some of his cohorts and family members also received similar sentences for fraudulent act.
The Commissioner said that transparent asset recovery is a top priority for both UK and Nigeria governments.
“It is essential that this agreement makes strong provision for transparency, monitoring and accountability.
”She further stated; it is an upright principle for both the United kingdom and the Nigerian government, that stolen assets should be used for projects that benefit Nigeria’s poor”, she stated.
Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said the federal government is committed to ensuring the transparent management of all recovered assets.
“The returned assets will assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria.