Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Networks –
(NNPA) A new report by the watchdog group Global Witness charges British banks with accepting millions of dollars from Nigerian politicians accused of corruption.
One former governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, brought some $6 million into Britain and deposited it with the Royal Bank of Scotland. "This account received $4 million,” said a Global Witness spokesman. “Of that, $2 million was a corrupt bribe paid by a contractor to secure a contract."
The report, called International Thief, covers 1999 to 2005. It is based on court documents from cases brought by the Nigerian government to win back funds it said had been stolen by former governors.
By taking money from corrupt governors between 1999 and 2005, said the report, Barclays, NatWest, RBS, HSBC, and UBS helped to fuel corruption and entrench poverty in Nigeria.
"Banks are quick to penalize ordinary customers for minor infractions but seem to be less concerned about dirty money passing through their accounts," said Robert Palmer, a policy analyst at Global Witness. "Large scale corruption is simply not possible without a bank willing to process payments from dodgy sources or hold accounts for corrupt politicians," he added.
The banks have all denied the charges. A full copy of the report may be found online at www.globalwitness.org
Nuhu Ribadu, former head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, estimates that corruption and mismanagement swallow about 40 percent of Nigeria’s annual oil income.
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