Delta State Govt Counters Accountant General, Denies Receiving £4.2m Ibori Loot

 

The Delta State Government has denied receiving £4.2 million looted by its former governor, James Ibori. 

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris on Tuesday while appearing before the Senate committee investigating the status of recovered loot noted that the fund has been returned to the state.

However, the Chief Press Secretary to the state government, Olisa Ifejika, on Wednesday countered the Accountant General’s claim, insisting the oil-rich state is yet to receive the money.

READ ALSO: Government Committed To Sustaining NYSC Scheme, Says Sports Minister

“We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government to return the recovered loot to Delta State where it rightly belongs. But the truth is that the money has not hit the Delta State government’s account.

“We saw it yesterday like every other Nigerian when the Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris while appearing before the House of Reps committee on recovered loot made that statement and there was this avalanche of enquires to know whether that money has come to us and the truth is that the money has not come.

“We are happy that they have shown willingness to return send the money and we know that very soon, the money will come,” Ifejika said while addressing journalists at the Government House in Asaba, the state capital.

He assured that the Delta State government will ensure that the funds are judiciously utilised to improve infrastructure across the state, once received.

The loot – £4.2 million – was seized from the associates of convicted former Governor of Delta State, Ibori by the United Kingdom and recently returned to Nigeria.

 

Where Is The Loot?

The recovered loot was recently received by the Federal Government from the United Kingdom.

Mr Idris while appearing before the committee investigating the status of recovered loot stated that “all recovered funds that belong to the respective states are paid directly to the states.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria Receives £4.2m Ibori Loot

When asked specifically if the Ibori loot was returned to Delta State, he responded that: “It was paid to the state, it was paid to Delta State. Any recovery that is arising from any state, goes to that state. State governors will not even allow it to fly, they will take the federal government to court. We pay them their money.”

 

Contradiction

The Accountant General’s response contradicts the earlier position of the Federal government on the recovered loot.

Earlier in March, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had said the Ibori loot would be used for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road and not returned to the Delta State Government where it was pilfered from.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, during an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

During his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, he argued that the law that was alleged to have been breached by Ibori was a federal law and that the parties of interests involved in the repatriation of the funds were national and not sub-national governments.

“The major consideration relating to who is entitled to a fraction or perhaps the money in its entirety is a function of law and international diplomacy,” Mr. Malami said.

Leaders Must Rise Above Personal Interests – Gov. Ambode

Lagos State, lekki free zoneNigeria’s present economic situation may still be biting hard, but the situation urgently requires elected leaders to put aside personal differences and interests and focus on delivering good governance to those they represent.

This charge was giving by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to participants of the ongoing maiden edition of the executive and legislative retreat in Lagos.

Governor Ambode said that the recession taking its toll on Nigerians is a wakeup call for leaders at all levels to come together for the purpose of rescuing the nation rather than seeing it as an opportunity to amass resources for selfish purposes.

The 3-day retreat had in attendance members of the executive and the legislature at the state and federal level.

Party leaders from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the state were also part of it.