- Explanation has been given as to why the Delta government will not be in possession of the returned looted funds by a former governor of the state
- The explanation was given by Nigeria's chief law officer and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN
- Malami also used the opportunity to deny media reports linking him to the reopening of a corruption case involving Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
The Attorney-General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday, March 9 explained why the loot recovered from former Delta state governor, James Ibori will be used for federal projects.
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.
Speaking to Channels Television, Malami said:
“All the processes associated with the recovery were consummated by the federal government and the federal government is, indeed, the victim of the crime and not sub-national.”
Malami also denied media reports suggesting that his office was involved in the re-opening of a case against the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Some Nigerians have been commenting on Malami's stance via social media.
Onye Mature wrote:
“Give it back to Delta state or site a project there with the money. I hope Governor Okowa will seek judicial interpretation of this obvious anomaly.”
Ese Omene wrote:
“Delta won't get a penny because former governor Uduaghan said no money was missing.”
Ogor Peters wrote:
“Deltans were the victims of the crime, the money should return to them.”
Emoghene Elvis wrote:
“This money belongs to the people of Delta state and it should be given back to them, anything short of that is injustice.”
Abdulrauf Toyin wrote:
“It does not make any sense for the whole money to go to the federal government. It is understandable if the federal government takes a certain % and remits the rest to the state where the money was stolen. If there is a law that favours the federal government on this, then that is injustice. Broad day light robbery!!”
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.
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 their home states.
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 email@example.com.