The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has advised the Federal Government to return the N2.2bn Ibori loot to the Delta state government.
In an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Sagay urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to use the loot to fund projects in Delta State if the loot could not be given to the state.
He condemned the plan of the government to use the latest tranche of the Ibori loot to fund the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano railway.
The PACAC chairman asserted that since the funds were looted from the Delta State treasury, the money should return to the state or the money be used for the development of the state.
Sagay, however, said the projects for which the loot will be used for would have no direct impact on the lives of the people of Delta.
He said, “The money came from Delta State. Naturally, it must go back to Delta State. I know the basis of the Federal Government argument. It is not just about the MoU. There is a provision in the EFCC Act that says all monies recovered should go to the Federal Government.
“I think they may want to rely on this. However, that law is void because a law cannot be based on transferring the assets belonging to one person to another. My advice is for the Federal Government to ask the Delta State government to nominate projects they want to undertake and then money would be released for the projects.
“The Ibori money being used for Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and others is unacceptable. You cannot use money from Delta State to fix projects in other places. The Federal Government can also use the money to fund its many projects in Delta State like the Benin-Warri road and many others.”
Recall that Malami had said one of the reasons the recovered loot could not be given to the Delta State Government was that part of the conditions for the repatriation of the fund was that it would be used for certain projects.
Malami said this agreement had also been backed by a Memorandum of Understanding.