By Franca Joseph (AGENDAWATCHDOG) –The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, has flayed the allegation by a British lawmaker that a former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), took half of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with him to Britain following the bloody coup that toppled him in 1975.
In a statement issued by Chief Edward K. Clark, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief John Nwodo and Dr. Pogu Bitrus; South-South, South West, South East and Middle Belt respectively titled, “On Looting Allegation Against General Gowon”, the forum slammed the allegation as groundless, adding that there was no way Gowon could have taken the CBN with him to the UK when he was on the run consequent to the coup that ousted him.
Proceeding, the forum pointed out that the former head of State was overthrown while at the OAU conference in Kampala in 1975, from where he moved to London, where he became a student, adding that there was no way he could have moved such a large amount of money when he was on the run.
While reaffirming its commitment to supporting integrity in public office, it stated that it would not stand for spurious allegations against anybody, calling on the British lawmaker to cross-check his facts or back up his claim with irrefutable evidence.
Tom Tugendhat, a British parliamentarian had, during a hearing of a petition against the Nigerian government’s handling of the EndSARS protests at a committee meeting of the parliament, accused Gowon of looting half of the CBN when he came to the United Kingdom in 1975.