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President Buhari seeks United Kingdom help in fugitives’ investigation

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),  has  sought the help of the United Kingdom in the anti-corruption war of his reg...

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.),  has  sought the help of the United Kingdom in the anti-corruption war of his regime.

He said the UK’s assistance was needed in the investigation of fugitives escaping from Nigeria and finding places to hide in the UK.

Buhari made the call during a meeting with the British Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, in London on Monday.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, which opened in London on Monday.

Buhari  told Johnson that the National Crime Agency of the UK, the equivalent of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, could help Nigeria with the investigations into the cases involving  fugitives.

“On the anti-corruption war, the President said though it was slow but painstaking, the cooperation of the National Crime Agency of the UK was still needed, particularly in the investigation of fugitives from Nigeria finding accommodation in the United Kingdom,” a  statement by the President’s  media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, said.

The statement did not indicate whether Buhari mentioned the names of any fugitives.

However, it said Buhari briefed Johnson on the achievements of his regime so far, particularly in agriculture, which he said had led to “almost self-sufficiency” in the production of rice and other grains.

He  said the result was that Nigeria was saved the billions in foreign exchange it hitherto spent importing such agriculture produce.

On  the counterinsurgency operations of the regime, Buhari told the PM that security had improved in the communities worst-hit by Boko Haram, adding that the immediate challenge the regime was tackling was the resettlement of displaced families.

He acknowledged the support of Britain in the operations, saying, “We have a long history with the British military, and we are collaborating.”

Buhari added that his regime was focused on developing education, with special attention on girl child education and welfare.

The Presidency said Johnson praised Buhari’s efforts in being a leader in the West African sub-region and providing jobs through agriculture and other policies of his regime.

The statement stated further, “He equally lauded the Nigerian President for what he calls the ‘social and economic benefits’ that have accrued to the country since he emerged, and that the necessary hand of fellowship would be extended on the war against corruption, through the National Crime Agency.

“The British PM pledged to cooperate with Nigeria and other African countries in the inter-basin water transfer, which could solve the Lake Chad problem, and enhance security in the sub-region.

“On the Commonwealth Free Trade Area, being espoused by President Buhari, the Prime Minister applauded the idea, and pledged a careful consideration.

“He charged the Nigerian leader to keep the national autonomy of his country intact, noting that in the future, Nigeria would not just be a continental but international power.”

John Ameh

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