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Activist wants UK to return Nigeria’s stolen funds

An activist and public affairs commentator, Mr Kayode Ogundamisi has called on the British government to repatriate Nigeria’s stolen funds stashed in United Kingdom banks.…

An activist and public affairs commentator, Mr Kayode Ogundamisi has called on the British government to repatriate Nigeria’s stolen funds stashed in United Kingdom banks.

Speaking at an international symposium on forced displacement at De Montfort University, Leicester on Wednesday, Mr Ogundamisi said that huge sums of money stolen from Nigeria were being kept in banks in the UK, alleging that about £1.6 billion of such funds was stashed in Barclays Bank alone.

He said when being returned, the UK could tie such funds to specific development projects or programs in Nigeria, adding that the UK could even send its officials to monitor the projects to ensure that the funds were spent for the projects they were tied to.

He, however, decried the current situation whereby Nigeria had to go through stringent, expensive and cumbersome processes in its bid to recover its money stolen by corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians.

On internally displaced persons (IDPs) Mr Ogundamisi said there was an “international ring of corruption” around displaced persons, explaining that some powerful countries stoke up conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world  so that they could sell their weapons.

Internal conflicts had become big businesses that make people millionaires at the expense of the victims, he said, stressing that the situation in Nigeria had witnessed a proliferation of NGOs many of which were more interested in making money than providing for the displaced persons.

He attributed most insurgencies to “inequitable allocation and distribution of resources in an unfair world”, contending that target-driven policies must be pursued to ameliorate and eradicate the situation.

The event, moderated by Dr Seun Kolade, a senior lecturer at De Montfort University (DMU), is funded by the DMU’s Global Challenges Research Fund, and centred on the role of social and human capital among displaced populations in North-eastern Nigeria.

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