Posted By Godwin Onyemaechi
The Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, has revealed that the £4.2 million loot recovered from a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, and his associates, which was recently repatriated from the United Kingdom, has been returned to Delta State.
Idris’ disclosure was however contrary to the stance of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who had said the agreement the federal government had with the British government was to use the repatriated loot to complete specific ongoing projects.
Malami’s stance consequently led to calls from the Delta State government and other stakeholders on the federal government to return the recovered loot to the state in line with established precedents whereby such funds were returned to states from which the recovered loot was stolen.
The Account General while appearing 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 on Tuesday in Abuja disclosed that the looted fund had been paid to Delta State government.
He explained that such funds like that of Ibrori which was looted from the treasury of a state were always returned to the state.
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 thoseStatess.”
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.”