Wednesday, May 11, 2016 2:30 pm
The sleazy era of former governor of Bayelsa state, late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was revived today in London as President Muhammadu Buhari tabled a demand of assets repatriation to goofing Prime Minister David Cameron.
During a pre-summit event at the Commonwealth Marlborough House in London, Buhari was asked to respond to Cameron’s comment that Nigeria and Afghanistan were “possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world”.
“I am not going to demand any apology from anybody. What I am demanding is the return of assets,” Buhari said at an event, to applause from Nigerians in the audience.
“What would I do with an apology? I need something tangible,” he said, rubbing his fingers together in a gesture commonly used to refer to money. The audience laughed.
Buhari alluded to the case of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of the oil-producing state of Bayelsa in the Niger Delta, who was arrested in London in 2005 on suspicion of money-laundering.
Alamieyeseigha skipped bail and fled back to Nigeria dressed as a woman. He was later impeached, tried and convicted in Nigeria of stealing millions of dollars of public money.
“He (Alamieyeseigha) had to dress like a woman to leave Britain and leave behind his bank account and fixed assets which Britain was prepared to hand over to us. This is what we are asking for,” Buhari said.
Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) could not immediately provide details of any assets returned to Nigeria.
British police have conducted several investigations in recent years into assets held in Britain by Nigerian politicians, including two former state governors and a former oil minister.
One of the ex-governors, James Ibori is serving a prison sentence in Britain after pleading guilty to money-laundering.
And another former governor, Joshua Dariye, facing trial for stealing Plateau state money, also jumped bail in 2004, after being arrested for money laundering in the UK. He left behind some properties and cash.