Nigeria's Buhari demands back stolen money in UK

LONDON - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he is not demanding "any apology from anybody" after UK Prime Minister David Cameron labelled his country "fantastically corrupt".

Speaking at an anti-corruption event in London, Mr Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

Mr Cameron made the unguarded comments in a conversation with the Queen.

He is hosting an international anti-corruption summit on Thursday.

Mr Buhari's address at the anti-corruption event at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London followed a statement from his office on Wednesday, saying that he had been "deeply shocked and embarrassed" by Mr Cameron's remarks.

Asked if Nigeria was "fantastically corrupt", in an echo of the prime minister's comments, Mr Buhari responded: "Yes."

Nigeria was ranked 136 out of 167 countries in Transparency International's 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Two recent cases have illustrated the astonishing scale of corruption facing the country.

Last week, Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said that an estimated $15bn (£10bn) of government money had been stolen through corrupt arms contracts under the previous government.

And in March, an official audit found that Nigeria's state-owned oil company had failed to pay the government $25bn in a suspected fraud.

In his speech, the Nigerian leader described corruption as a "hydra-headed monster" which threatened the security of countries and "does not differentiate between developed and developing countries".

Comments (1)

Here is a typical African leader, Mr Buhari. 1. Mr Buhari "deepply shocked and embarassed " by Mr Cameron`s remarks. 2. Nigeria fntasically corrupt ? Mr Buhari´sanswer: YES ! 3. Two recent cases: (a) 15 Bil.USD. stolen. (This time is not our Zimbabwean 15 Bil. USD missing - under Mugabe´s pillow). (b) Audit : Nigeria state-owned oil Co. failed to pay 25 Bil.USD - suspected fraud. Unashamed he goes on to say no apology but interested in the return of stolen money. Where were you when the money was stolen ? If you are a leadership which is not up to the task to prevent theft and corruption then resign and let those who can do the job take over. Simple ! he has learnt the blame game from our excellency the commander of of everything ( including how we should breathe) in Zimbabwe, His highnest , the honourable Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 12 May 2016

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