The United Kingdom Government has pledged to return £4.2 million funds recovered from friends and family members of convicted former Delta State governor, James Ibori to Nigerian government.
Ibori was governor of Delta State from 1999-2007. On February 27, 2012, Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money laundering, fraud, conspiracy to defraud, and other offences in a London Court. He also pleaded guilty to stealing over $250 million public funds while he was governor.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing, stated this at a ceremony for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigerian and United Kingdom governments in Abuja, Tuesday, March 9.
Catriona said this was the first tranche of such planned returns, adding that what is being returned to the Nigerian government was retrieved from friends and family members of Ibori.
She described the Ibori case as complicated, noting that the United Kingdom authorities were still working on the total actual amount involved in the case.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who signed for the Nigerian government, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the returned loots to be deployed to completion of the second Niger Bridge, the Lagos to Ibadan expressway and the Abuja to Kano expressway projects.
The former Governor of Delta state was released from a UK prison in December 2016 after completing his jail term.