The United Kingdom is accused of insincerity in its support to the Federal Government’s fight against corruption.
Godfrey Utazi, Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes said the inability of the British government to either create necessary legislation or amend its banking laws to discourage offshore stealing and warehousing of looted funds from Nigeria, despite several advocacy has created the impression that the UK was merely paying lip-service to its promise to help President Muhammadu Buhari fight corruption in the country.
In a chat with Vanguard in Abuja, Senator Utazi noted that financial institutions in the UK were in the habit of signing Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with looters not to disclose their identities after they create bank accounts for depositing their illicit financial resources.
He said until the UK took the lead in prohibiting such MoUs and removing similar non-disclosure clauses in its laws, ending capital flight from Nigeria through illegal means would remain a mirage.
He said, “A kettle shouldn’t call the pot black. I have severally asked the House of Commons to make necessary amendments to the British banking laws to discourage ‘non-disclosure’ clauses.
“Countries that are helping us in this fight against corruption will help us better by instituting laws that will discourage capital flight from Nigeria and other illicit financial flows.
“If you get to the UK, our people open accounts and enter into MoU with the banks that they do not want disclosure of identity so that they can hide their stolen wealth or illicit fund.
“But when they want to take their money home, the police will be called on them, because they (British government) use our money to run the economy.
“The British government has to put a legislation in place that stops the banking institutions in the UK from allowing such. Let there be transparency. If we start with the UK, other countries will follow suit.
“If the UK government is serious in helping us fight corruption, they should do the right thing, otherwise, it’s all lip-service that won’t help anyone.”