As British Prime Minister Theresa May visits Nigeria and two other African countries this week, the country reported it had returned £70 million recovered from a Nigerian, who was convicted of fraud by an Italian court.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, said in Abuja: “There was an Italian court case with a particular person involved. A portion the fund has been in the UK and that was the portion that was returned recently from the UK to Nigeria.’’
The envoy did not mention the identity of the Nigerian involved in the offence, but said more funds would be repatriated.
He stressed that his country was working with the Nigerian government to accelerate the legal process of returning the looted money.
“The British government has no intention of keeping one kobo of Nigerian funds in the UK. It all must come back to Nigeria.
“Just as in Nigeria, the UK feels that the judicial process is important, and we have to go through those processes before the money can be returned.” Arkwright also confirmed that British Prime Minister Theresa May will visit Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa during the week.
May is expected in Nigeria on Wednesday.
May’s visit to Nigeria is part of efforts aimed at boosting post-Brexit trade ties.
May, joined by several ministers and 29 business representatives from various industries, will be on the three-day trip, Downing Street said Monday.
She will be the first British prime minister to set foot in Kenya since Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, now is the time for the UK to deepen and strengthen its global partnerships,” May said in a statement.
“Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy,” she added.
“As longstanding partners, this trip is a unique opportunity at a unique time for the UK to set out our ambition to work even closer together.”
The delegation will land in Cape Town on Tuesday, where May will meet South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as business leaders and young people.
She will use a speech on the opening day to set out how Britain can bolster its partnership with Africa, “particularly by bringing the transformative power of private sector trade and investment from the UK”, her office said.
May will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja and later on, visit Lagos.
On Thursday she will meet Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The prime minister will then see British troops in training action and tour a business school, before concluding the trip at a state dinner hosted by Kenyatta.
Among those joining May are representatives of the London Stock Exchange, the Scotch Whisky Association and manufacturing firm JCB