Yakubu Gowon, a former military head of state, has described allegations that he looted half of the Central Bank of Nigeria as “rubbish”.

A member of the UK Parliament, Tom Tugendhat, made the claims during a debate on the Lekki tollgate shootings of protesters.

Speaking at the UK parliament committee debate on a petition on the #EndSARS crisis, Tugendhat had urged the UK to call out corruption and use its powers to stop who profit from Nigeria’s wealth and hide it in foreign countries.

“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it is said, and moved to London,” he said.

However, in an interview with the BBC, Gowon described the allegations as “rubbish”.

He said: “What the MP said is rubbish. I don’t know where he got that rubbish from. I served Nigeria diligently and my records are there for all to see.

“I did not want to speak on this issue because people that know me know that what the MP said is not true.”

Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975.