Diezani: TUC lauds UK government, urges return of all stolen money

Court orders permanent forfeiture of Diezani’s $37.5m mansion to FG

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has applauded the British government on the recent revelations on the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke’ s purchase of a house to the tone of £12.5m (N3.7b) and another £27, 000 (N8.078m) seized from her on the order of the court.

The congress also called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency immediately liase with the UK government and other countries where politicians have deposited their loots to assist in the investigation and release of monies to the home country (Nigeria).

The TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretary General, Comrade(Barr.) Musa Lawal in a statement lamented that the N3.7b mortgage could be one out of many. “Only God knows the worth of her mortgage in the US, Germany,Switzerland, South Africa, etc, even at this time when the nation’s economy is gasping for breath and roads turned death traps. A N3.7b mortgage when states cannot pay salaries and thousands of Nigerians still lacking affordable houses is height of insensitivity and wickedness. The act overtly is nothing but a case of man’s inhumanity to man.

The congress however expressed joy, stating that “we have started seeing the result of President Buhari’s presence at the just-concluded 70th summit of the global body in New York, United States of America, where he appealed to global leaders not to provide a safe haven for treasury looters, explaining that it has been the bane of the country’s underdevelopment.”

The labour chiefs decried that the African Union report released by former South Africa President, Mr. Thabo Mbeki early this year further confirms an estimated $217.7 billion has been illicitly transferred from Nigeria to foreign countries (safe havens) between 1970 and 2008. The report also confirms an earlier account by the Global Financial Integrity, a United States-based group, which claimed that $129 billion was carted away between 2000 and 2009. Is this just in a poverty ridden country? We don’t think so!

“Suffice to say that it will be impossible to get the exact money stolen by these bandits. The reason is because even the banks where the money is deposited statutorily take charges on the deposits. You can imagine a charge on a billion dollar! These people are expensive clowns! How do we explain that after almost two decades that former military Head of State, Sani Abacha died the country is yet to have all its loot returned?”

While we appreciate the effort of the UK government so far and urge other countries to follow suit, we still appeal that they shun double standards if they really want to help Nigeria in particular and Africa in general in the fight against corruption and corrupt officials. The congress stated emphatically that any banks found aiding and abetting corruption will regret it.

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