Britain’s Department for International Development is accused of allowing tens of millions of pounds in UK aid to be invested in Nigerian money laundering fronts, BBC Newsnight has learned.
An equity fund backed by DfID-owned subsidiary CDC Group is being investigated by Nigerian officials.
The accusation is that the private fund invested in companies linked to convicted money-launderer James Ibori.
DfID says CDC carries out thorough checks before investing in funds.
Ibori, a former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta States, who looted millions from state coffers, is due to be sentenced by a UK court having pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
As his trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court was about to begin in February 2012, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta State and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
DfID spent £5m investigating the case, the world’s biggest money-laundering scam ever brought to justice, and Ibori’s network - which spanned four continents.
Ibori had secret accounts and companies in London, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Polynesia, Panama, the Marshall Islands and South Africa.