A former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has dismissed the claim by a Member of the British Parliament that he looted half of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of his reign.
While debating possible sanctions against Nigerian government officials over human rights violations this week, a member of the UK parliament, Tom Tugendhat, alleged that Gowon moved to the UK years ago with a sizeable loot.
“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank of Nigeria, so it is said, and moved to London,” he said.
The remark caused a stir in Nigeria with many criticising Gowon who led Nigeria during the Biafran Civil War that left millions dead.
Gowon was Nigeria’s third Head of State between 1966 and 1975 when he was overthrown by a military coup while he was out of the country. He immediately moved to the United Kingdom where he enrolled as a student at the University of Warwick.
In an interview with BBC, Gowon described Tugendhat’s comment as a mere ridicule that was cooked up.
“I don’t want to talk over the matter since those who know me very well say that the MP’s statement is nothing but a mere fallacy,” he said.
Gowon said he served Nigeria diligently and that his achievements are clear for everyone to see.