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Delta State accuses FG of deliberate withholding £4.2m Ibori loot refund

By Monday Osayande, Asaba
15 November 2021   |   4:04 pm
Delta State Government Monday said it was disappointed by the Federal Government's "deliberate" refusal to return the £4.2 million the former governor James Ibori looted from the state to it seven months after the release of the money by the UK Government. The 4.2 million pounds refund money was received by the Federal government from…
James Ibori

Former governor of Delta State James Ibori

Delta State Government Monday said it was disappointed by the Federal Government’s “deliberate” refusal to return the £4.2 million the former governor James Ibori looted from the state to it seven months after the release of the money by the UK Government.

The 4.2 million pounds refund money was received by the Federal government from the UK government on May 28, 2021.

Delta State commissioner for information, Charles Aniagwu said “government is anxiously awaiting the “repatriated money,” saying the funds belong to the state, and so Federal government can not rob Peter to pay Paul”.

“As I speak with you we have map out a lot of projects to be done with the money, we are only hoping that Federal government release the money to us on time to do the needful,” Aniagwu said.

A landmark corruption case led to a deal in March signed by Nigeria and Britain on repatriating the money.

The deal stipulates that Nigeria will use the funds to finance vital infrastructure projects.

Ibori was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly 50 million pounds (at the time $78.6 million or 62 million euros).

He fled to Dubai in 2010 but was extradited to Britain, where he was sentenced and served four years of a 13-year jail term. He was released in December 2016.

Scotland Yard said that during his two terms as governor, Ibori “systematically stole funds from the public purse, secreting them in bank accounts across the world.”

Anti-corruption campaigners hailed his sentence as a rare victory in the fight against international graft.

AFP contributed to this report.