Return $4.2m Ibori fund or invest it in Delta, Okowa tells FG
Spending money outside state a breach of trust, says Sagay
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to return the £4.2m Ibori loot or invest it in specific projects in the state.
Okowa, who spoke at the quarterly media briefing in Asaba, said the state government had written the Attorney General of the Federation and the presidency on the need to return the fund or channel it to specific projects.
“Now that the United Kingdom has returned the money to the country, we want to ensure that it is refunded to the state. Letters have been written and we have made appeals to Mr. President and Attorney General of the Federation. We asked that either the money is returned to us, or applied to projects in Delta State.
“We also suggested some projects to which the money can be applied. The £4.2m should amount to about N2.2b going by current exchange rate,” he said.
Okowa also said his decision to dissolve the state’s executive council was informed by the need to work without stress and to enable people to pursue their interests.
The governor described the security situation in the country as worrisome and that Delta State was not spared saying: “This is not the land of our dream, where it is now difficult to travel on land, not because of the fear of accidents, but because of criminals.
He said the meeting of the southern governors in Asaba and their decisions was in the best interest of the country, saying the resolutions would unite, create development and move the country forward.
Okowa also disclosed that another meeting of the southern governors would be held to follow up on the earlier decisions of the Asaba meeting.
MEANWHILE, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, said spending the returned Ibori loot outside Delta State would amount to breach of trust.
He said the Federal Government was just a trustee, while the beneficiary remained Delta State and as such, the Federal Government should spend the money in the state.
“The money belongs to Delta State and not the Federal Government. If they don’t want to give to the state government directly, they should spend it exclusively in Delta, otherwise it will be a breach of trust,” he said.