FG yet to remit £4.2 m Ibori’s loot to Delta State, says AG

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has recant his earlier statement that federal government had remitted by £4.2 million pounds recovered from Ibori’s associates by United Kingdom government to Delta State the lawful owner of the money.

According to him,” For now, no money has been returned to Delta State,”

Mr Idris had on Tuesday while defending government position on recovered loots , told House of Representatives Committee in Abuja that money returned to the Nigerian government by the UK government, had been returned to Delta State from where it was stolen by James Ibori, former Delta governor.

The Delta State Government immediately refuted his statement and said that it has yet to receive the money.

In a late Wednesday statement, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) clarified its position.

OAGF said:“The issue of the £4.2m Ibori Loot has not been properly resolved.”

The OAGF’s director of Information, Press and Public Relations, Henshaw Ogubike, in the statement, said the money “is still being awaited, after which the issues around it will be resolved before further action is taken.

“For now, no money has been returned to Delta State,” he said.

This explanation, he said, is without prejudice to the proceedings at the House of Representatives during which Mr Idris “was only making general comments about recoveries relating to State Governments.”

Mr Idris said Tuesday before the House of Representatives Committee that the money has been returned to the Delta State Government. He also said such recovered monies, stolen from states, are returned to the appropriate states.

The £4.2 million pounds was stolen by former Delta governor James Ibori associates and lodged in UK accounts.

Mr Ibori and some of his associates were convicted in the UK for money laundering for which Ibori has served his term but still challenging UK Court his conviction and the seizures of his property and money.

He is back in Nigeria where he is actively involved in the politics of the Delta State as a kingmaker and godfather.

Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) said UK government returned the money to Federal government on May 9, following the agreement both countries entered into on March 18.

The breeding controversy over the return loot seem to have began with the agreement federal government entered into with the United Kingdom where in the federal government tied Lagos -Ibadan Highway , Second Niger Bridge and Abuja -Kaduna -Kano Highway as projects it would expend the looted recovered fund.