There is a fresh report linking 10 former Nigerian governors to properties worth £56 million (about N30billion) in the United Kingdom.
NewsOnline Nigeria reports that the report on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also showed 216 properties were owned by 13 Nigerian law enforcement officers in the UAE.
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The report, according to SaharaReporters, was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
Neither the identities of the former governors nor the venue of the roundtable was disclosed.
A don at the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK, Dr. Gbenga Oduntan, presented the report titled, “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.”
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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 further noted that while over $50 billion is lost annually to IFF in Africa; Nigeria retains the lead among other African countries in the menace.
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Stakeholders have however advocated for the creation of a tripartite anti-corruption task force for the three countries to stop the illicit financial flow.
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.
He, however, lamented that this is not the case, saying, in UAE, findings showed that prosecution of money laundering cases was very low.