[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2005, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Nigeria governor 'laundered' cash
Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha
Mr Alamieyeseigha earns less than $1,000 a month as a governor
The governor of an oil-rich Nigerian state has appeared in a UK court charged with laundering 1.8m ($3.2m) found in cash and in bank accounts.

The magistrate denied bail to Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, because of fears he might leave the UK, as another governor did last year.

The governor has accused the UK authorities of acting in a bigoted and neo-colonialist manner.

Mr Alamieyeseigha says he is innocent. He is due in court again next month.

He was originally arrested on 15 September as he passed through Heathrow Airport in London. Detectives found almost 1m in cash in his west London home.

Nigeria's anti-corruption body has been investigating the governor for more than three years.

Under Nigerian law he enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office.

However, such immunity does not extend beyond Nigeria's shores, our correspondent says.

Last year, another Nigerian state governor was arrested in London.

Joshua Dariye from Plateau state was quizzed by police on money laundering allegations involving more than 1m.

He was freed on bail and returned to Nigeria, and is still wanted for questioning by British police.

Nigeria is considered one of the most corrupt countries, but President Olusegun Obasanjo has vowed to fight the problem.

He set up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after his election in 1999.

Although a number of senior officials have been put under investigation for alleged corruption in recent months, there has not been any significant conviction during his six years in power.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific