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Corruption proceeds not welcome in the UK, says British high commissioner to Nigeria

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The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing has said that ill-gotten money is not longer welcome in the UK.

Laing said this at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK and Nigeria for the return of stolen assets.

“Money obtained through criminality or corruption is not welcome in the UK. We will ensure the full weight of law enforcement to crack down upon those who look to use, move or hide their proceeds of crime in the U.K,” said Laing.

She said the MoU will see the return of over £4.2 million recovered from the associates and family of the Ex-Governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

“This agreement represents the culmination of many years of work by law enforcement authorities in the UK and Nigeria.

“The return of the assets to Nigeria has been subject to a number of hard-fought legal challenges by third parties which were defeated in the UK courts.

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“It is vitally important that this agreement makes strong provision for transparency, monitoring and accountability.

“It is a guiding principle of both the U.K. and Nigerian governments that stolen assets should be used for projects that benefit Nigeria’s poor.

“I believe that this agreement demonstrates the UK’s commitment to recovering and returning corruptly-obtained assets.”

Laing stated that the returned money would help to fund the development of infrastructure that will be of benefit to Nigeria.

She noted that all things being equal, the £4.2 million would be made available to Nigeria “in the next couple of days.”

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