I didn’t loot CBN, Gowon dismisses UK lawmaker’s claim

Former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon has dismissed the allegations of money laundering levelled against him by a member of the United Kingdom parliament.

The elder statesman condemned the claims on Thursday in an interview with Channels Television.

A UK lawmaker, Tom Tugendhat, had accused the former military leader of looting half of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In his reaction, 86-year-old Gen. Gowon, who was Head of State from 1966 to 1975, said it was disappointing that a British parliamentarian could make such a statement without checking the facts.

He said: “It is certainly surprising, and I am disappointed that a British parliamentarian could make such a statement without checking the facts of what he was saying.

“I honestly was disappointed that such a remark is made,” the former Nigerian leader told the London correspondent of the station via telephone.

He insisted that there was no time when he was held or questioned for money laundering, stressing that the allegation that he looted the nation’s treasury was false.

Gen Gowon, who said he heard about the allegation from social media, insisted that there was nothing to hide and the record was there for the lawmaker and the British authorities to check.

He also called on the UK government to take the necessary step to order, stressing that making an allegation of such was an insult to him and Nigeria as a nation.

Gen Gowon said: “The record of my service to the nation is there for everybody to see and even the British government itself, and I don’t know why somebody got the information to make such a very ridiculous statement.

“I am disappointed with that one and I hope the British authority will do something to rightly bring that parliamentarian to order to check his facts before he makes such allegation because it is more or less an insult to the leadership of Nigeria and certainly an insult to me to say that I did something of the sort to take half of Nigeria’s Central Bank and I must have put it in a British bank.”

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