Ibori Loot: Confusion Over Return Of £4.2m To Delta

Office of Accountant-General of the Federation straightnews
Office of Accountant-General of the Federation

Confusion has set in over the purported return of £4.2 million Ibori loot to Delta State government.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, Tuesday, said the James Ibori loot recently received from the United Kingdom government has been returned to Delta State.

Idris said this 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. The committee is headed by Adejoro Adeogun.

However, Delta State Government, Wednesday, countered the story that it has not received the money, thus raising doubt over the whereabouts of the money.

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.

Like a child’s play, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Wednesday, May 26, said the true position of the regarding the widely circulated media report on the £4.2m Ibori Loot is that the money is still being awaited.

The issue of the £4.2m Ibori Loot, according to a press statement from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation signed by Henshaw Ogubike, Director Press and Public Relations, has not been properly resolved.

The money, according to the statement, is still being awaited, after which the issues around it will be resolved before further action is taken, adding that the money has not been returned to Delta State.

The statement noted that the explanation is without prejudice to the proceedings at the public hearing that took place yesterday during which the AGF was only making general comments about recoveries relating to State Governments.

During the house public hearing, Idris said “I know there was a time recovery was made on behalf of Plateau State,” Idris said. “There was one for Bayelsa. There was one for different states, even Delta. Such recoveries go specifically to those states.”

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But Idris responded, “It has been paid to the state. It was paid to Delta State.”

Adeogun pointed out that this was contrary to information in the public domain that it was used for specific projects.

The Accountant General said some recoveries are for specific state governments.

However, Idris responded, “Any recovery arising from looted funds from a particular state goes to the state. The state governors would not even allow this to fly.

“They will take the Federal Government to court for holding their money. So we don’t joke and we don’t play with that. We pay them their money.”

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on Tuesday, said the £4.2 million Ibori loot recently received from the United Kingdom government has been given to Delta State.

Idris said this 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. The committee is headed by Adejoro Adeogun.

“I know there was a time recovery was made on behalf of Plateau State,” Idris said. “There was one for Bayelsa. There was one for different states, even Delta. Such recoveries go specifically to those states.”

Adeogun specifically referred him to the recent Ibori loot received from the United Kingdom.

“Let us give an example. There is something trending. The recovery of Ibori loot. When would it be paid to the state?” Adeogun asked.

But Idris responded, “It has been paid to the state. It was paid to Delta state.”

Adeogun pointed out that this was contrary to information in the public domain that it was used for specific projects.

The Accountant General said some recoveries are for specific state governments.

However, Idris responded, “Any recovery arising from looted funds from a particular state goes to the state. The state governors would not even allow this to fly.

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“They will take the Federal Government to court for holding their money. So we don’t joke and we don’t play with that. We pay them their money.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said in a statement by his spokesman, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, that a total of £4,214,017.66 of the loot associated with the family members of former Delta State governor has been received.

Malami initially said the refunded money will be used to execute some ongoing government projects in the country.

But lawyers and civil societies countered the federal government’s decision, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to return the funds to Delta State.

Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa last week appealed to the Federal Government to return the money recovered from former Delta State James Ibori.