THE following the comment of the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron, describing Nigeria as ‘fantastically corrupt’, a coalition of over 400 civil rights organisations, under the aegis of the Transition Monitoring Group, on Wednesday demanded from the western governments the return of all stolen monies stashed in their banks.
The group said the current difficulties being encountered by the present Nigerian leadership in the quest to repatriate looted funds “give the impression that countries like Britain has not been sincere about the global anti-graft war.
The TMG said since Nigerian’s efforts in tackling corruption had been globally acknowledged and documented, the spotlight must now be placed on countries acting as receivers of stolen monies from Nigeria, stressing that “corruption must be fought, both at home and abroad.”
In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by its chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, TMG said Western nations should immediately speed up the process of the repatriation of all Nigerian funds in foreign banks.
He said, “Our position is that the looters in Nigeria and corrupt elements in the West, helping to stash illicit monies in their banking systems, are equally culpable. The moral opprobrium, and the necessary global action to stop these illicit financial flows must focus on countries of origin of corrupt monies as well as recipient countries.
“Beyond the narrative of endemic corruption in Nigeria therefore, a much more definite burden must be placed on countries like Britain, and their offshore tax havens that have served as safe destinations for ill-gotten wealth from Nigeria.
“TMG therefore calls on the government of western nations to immediately expedite action for the repatriation of all Nigerian monies currently yielding layers of interest in bank vaults in their banking systems.”
According to Zikirullahi, it was morally reprehensible to keep rehashing already known stories about corruption in Nigeria, while overlooking conditions in the West, “which provide incentives for corrupt Nigerians to continue the plunder of the Nigerian treasury.”