Nigeria’s Buhari demands back stolen money in UK

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LONDON – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he is not demanding "any apology from anybody" after UK Prime Minister David Cameron labelled his country "fantastically corrupt".

Speaking at an anti-corruption event in London, Mr Buhari said he was more interested in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

Mr Cameron made the unguarded comments in a conversation with the Queen.

He is hosting an international anti-corruption summit on Thursday.

Mr Buhari's address at the anti-corruption event at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London followed a statement from his office on Wednesday, saying that he had been "deeply shocked and embarrassed" by Mr Cameron's remarks.

Asked if Nigeria was "fantastically corrupt", in an echo of the prime minister's comments, Mr Buhari responded: "Yes."

Nigeria was ranked 136 out of 167 countries in Transparency International's 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index.

Two recent cases have illustrated the astonishing scale of corruption facing the country.

Last week, Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said that an estimated $15bn (£10bn) of government money had been stolen through corrupt arms contracts under the previous government.

And in March, an official audit found that Nigeria's state-owned oil company had failed to pay the government $25bn in a suspected fraud.

In his speech, the Nigerian leader described corruption as a "hydra-headed monster" which threatened the security of countries and "does not differentiate between developed and developing countries".

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