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A governor from one oil-rich Nigerianstate who is currently remanded in a British prison illegally owns many houses in London estimated at 10 million pounds (about 18 million US dollars), according to the head of Nigeria's anti-graft agency.
LAGOS, Oct. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- A governor from one oil-rich Nigerianstate who is currently remanded in a British prison illegally owns many houses in London estimated at 10 million pounds (about 18 million US dollars), according to the head of Nigeria's anti-graft agency.
Alhaji Nihu Ribadu, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), opened up for the first time in a recent exclusive interview with Nigeria's Sunday Punch newspaper on the arrest of Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa state in London by British police.
"He owns a couple of houses in London and those houses were not registered as the property of the government of Nigeria. They were never registered as diplomatic premises," Ribadu said.
Under Nigeria's code of conduct for public officers, none of them shall own properties in any country outside Nigeria and a violation will amount to corruption.
Alamieyeseigha was arrested in mid-September. British police later conducted a search on one of his houses and found about one million pounds (about 1.8 million dollars) in cash. On Thursday, he was charged at a British court with laundering 1.8 million pounds (about 3.2 million dollars) and was remanded in custody till October 6 when the case resumes.
"He must have revealed the source of the money found on him and of course he made a statement as to the origin of the money," Ribadu said.
The EFCC boss also hinted that Alamieyeseigha enjoys no immunity from prosecution in Britain. "He did not go to London to transact any diplomatic business on behalf of the state ... His journey was personal," he added.
Alamieyeseigha is the second Nigerian governor who was arrested in London over alleged money laundering in the past one year. Last year, Governor Joshua Dariye of the central Plateau state was also arrested in London but was then released on bail.
Government officials in Nigeria, which is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world, have accused many state governors and their officials of stealing public funds.
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has intensified his fight against corruption this year, which saw two ministers and his police chief sacked. Enditem
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