Ibori’s kinsmen claim loot recovered by UK govt was £6.2million, not £4.2m

Ibori’s kinsmen claim loot recovered by UK govt was £6.2million, not £4.2m

- The decision to return the money seized from a Nigerian politician by the UK government is still generating controversy

- Kinsmen of the politician say the money has been tampered with by the UK government

- They urged the Nigerian government to insist on the full money while accusing the UK government of persecution

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The Lagos branch of Oghara Development Union (ODU) says the loot forfeited by the associates of James Ibori, former governor of Delta state, is £6.2 million and not £4.2 million as reported in the media.

Ibori, 61, is from Oghara town in the Ethiope West local government area of oil-rich Delta state.

On Tuesday, March 9, the United Kingdom government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its Nigerian counterpart to return £4.2 million recovered from Ibori and his associates.

But the union, in a statement by Sunday Agbofodoh, its general secretary, said the forfeited sum was £6.2 million.

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It added that Ibori is innocent of the charges against him and that his forfeited assets were not bought with illicit funds.

Ibori’s kinsmen claim loot recovered by UK govt was £6.2million, not £4.2m
The Buhari-led government has since received the funds from its UK counterpart. Photo credit: @MBuhari
Source: Twitter

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The Cable quoted Afgodofoh as saying:

“Nigeria should also demand the interest on the £6.2 million since 2012 because the money would not have sat idly in the bank without attracting interest.
“The London Police filed in court a paper which showed that one of Ibori’s companies, Mer Engineering, was earning over $7 million annually.
“It is on record that Ibori was a successful businessman before he became a governor in May 1999, involved in oil logistics and trading.
“One of his companies, MER Engineering (Nig Ltd), was established in 1992, seven years before he became governor. He was publisher of a national newspaper called “Diet,” now called Daily Independent.

Read also

Nigerian lawyers explain why Delta state can’t claim £4.2m looted by Ibori

“Also, Ibori had a consultancy job with the federal government, with a tripartite agreement between him, the FG, and the law firm Washington Christian of USA from which he earned between US$ 3 million to US$ 5 million annually, after successfully reaching the specified goals.
“His bank statements with the Bank of Austria, the Citibank, Barclays Bank, and the Meryl Lynch for those years will also show that he had a substantial wealth of his own before he held public office for the first time in May 1999.”

Meanwhile, the plan by the federal government to use part of the funds for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and the Lagos-Ibadan road has been rejected.

The stern opposition came on Tuesday, March 9, from the Delta state commissioner for information, Ehiedu Aniagwu.

Aniagwu said the proposed use of the recovered loot by the government is an injustice to the government and people of Delta, adding that the state will challenge the move at the Supreme Court.

Read also

Falana reveals why it is illegal for FG to lay claim to £4.2million Ibori loot

According to him, the state will only allow the government to take a percentage of the funds as a cost for the recovery.

Legit.ng had earlier named Ibori as one of the former governors in Nigeria who still has a cult-like following in his home state.

Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at jerrywright39@yahoo.com.

Source: Legit.ng

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