The Federal Government has returned the recently repatriated £4.2m looted by former Governor James Ibori from the United Kingdom to the Delta State Government, Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris has confirmed.
Idris disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilisation.
The Accountant-General told the Committee such funds looted from the treasury of a state are always returned to the state when repatriated.
Asked if recovered loots were only for the federal government, he said, “depending on the nature of recovery. I think there is a need to have an in depth understanding of this. Some recoveries are for State governments – specific state governments. I know there was a time recovery on behalf Plateau, there was one for Bayelsa, there was one for Delta. Such recoveries goes specifically to those states.”
He added that states can sue the Federal Government to recover such funds.
When asked where the Ibori loot was paid into, Idris without mincing words, said it was paid to Delta State government.
Reminded that was contrary to the information that it was for specific federal projects, Idris added, “No, no, any recovery that is arising from looted funds from a particular State goes to the State. The State governors will not even allow this to fly. They will take the federal government to court for holding their money. We don’t joke and we don’t play with that, we pay them their money.”Advertisement
TheNewsGuru.com, TNG reports that Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami had last week during a monitored interview on Channels Television ruled out the possibility of sharing the funds with the Delta State Government.
TNG reports that the Delta State Government and Niger Delta groups have earlier requested that the funds must on repatriation from the United Kingdom be transferred back to the state where it was pilfered from.
“I have spoken with the attorney-general of the federation. My attorney-general went to have a meeting with him. I think that we are working and we are likely to come on the same page. We have written a formal letter of protest to Mr President.
“We have made two suggestions; return the money directly to us or apply it directly to projects that we feel are of importance and are in Delta State so that Deltans can directly benefit from the repatriated funds and I don’t think anybody can fault that line (of thinking)”, Governor Okowa said in an interview in a recent interview on Channels TV.
However, the AGF said Nigeria would not deviate from the agreement reached with the United Kingdom government concerning the disbursement of the fund.
Malami while responding to questions on a monitored Channels Television programme on Wednesday said the government would expend the funds on projects. He listed the projects the money would be spent on according to the agreement reached.
The minister said, “The way international diplomatic processes operate with particular regard to the recovery of looted asset is more or less about engagement among the nations of interest.”