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Presidency Denies Returning £4.2m Ibori Loot To Delta Govt

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The Special Assistant to President Muhammdu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie on Wednesday denied that the Federal Government has not returned the £4.2 million recovered from former Gov. James Ibori to Delta State.

Naija News recalls that Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, had claimed that the federal government has returned the £4.2 million Ibori loot repatriated from the United Kingdom to the Delta state government.

He stated this on Tuesday while addressing the Abuja 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.

Idris said the decision was in line with the laid down procedure as funds looted from a state are usually returned to the state.

The AGF noted that states could take the federal government to court if such funds are not returned.

His claim was contrary to the position of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who had earlier stated that the state would not benefit from the recovered loot.

In a post on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Lauretta Onochie explained that Delta State did not receive the looted funds because Nigeria may lose the opportunity to receive more looted funds based on an agreement that was signed.

”We know what we heard but we also know the facts. Let me remind us. Before we start “admonishing, praising and decamping”, let’s pause for a minute and breathe in and out!” she wrote.

”Was the recovered Ibori loot returned to the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led Delta state government? No.

”Now, let me remind us. The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Mallami, the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing and other relevant agencies held a press conference openly telling the world when the money would be returned, and the specific projects the money was approved for. Openly.

”When it was delayed, the Attorney General informed Nigerians of the reason for the delay. When the loot arrived, Nigerians were informed too. The conditions under which the funds were repatriated, still stand. Again, no penny was paid to the Delta State government.

”If we break the conditions for getting this chicken amount, how do we get the elephant amount that is still coming?

”The British High Commissioner is also keeping an open eye on those projects.

”I know what we all heard. But we also know the facts. Pres. Muhammadu Buhari runs an open government. The Attorney General is part of the open policy. Nothing hidden.

”Nigerians would be the first to know if he decides to break an agreement made with Britain. I very much doubt it. He’s an Honourable man.God bless Nigeria.”

George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and a Deputy Editor at Naija News.