- Governor Okowa said his government has written a protest letter to President Buhari over the recovered Ibori loot
- The federal government had said it would use the money to fund some legacy projects including the Second Niger Bridge
- Okowa, however, said the FG should either return the money to Delta state or spend it on projects in the state
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state says his government has written a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the James Ibori loot recovered by Nigeria.
Okowa said this on Wednesday, March 24, when he appeared on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, The Cable reported.
Recall that the UK recently signed an agreement with the federal government to return £4.2 million loot recovered from Ibori, a former Delta governor.
The federal government had announced that the money would be used to fund some legacy projects, including the Second Niger Bridge.
However, commenting on the matter, Okowa said he has made two important suggestions to the government.
According to him, the federal government can either return the money tp Delta or spend it on projects in the south-south state.
“On our part, I have spoken with the attorney-general of the federation. My attorney-general went to have a meeting with him. We are working, and we are likely to come on the same page. We have written a formal letter of protest to Mr President."
Governor Okowa also noted that his government does not believe in dragging the federal government to court to get the money back.
Similarly, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN) has condemned the plan by the federal government to use the returned Ibori's loot to fund federal projects.
Sagay who is currently the chairman of, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, advised President Buhari to ensure that the funds are only used in Delta state, where the former governor hails from.
He said using the loot to fund the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Abuja-Kano railway would be unjust since such projects would have no direct impact on the lives of the people of Delta.
However, Yemi Candide-Johnson, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has revealed the reason why the £4.2million looted by ex-governor, James Ibori, can't be claimed by Delta state.
The senior lawyer argued that the funds are owned by the UK government in accordance with its laws giving it the power to confiscate proceeds of crime from persons convicted via the British judicial system.
Candide-Johnson noted that though the British government decided to repatriate the money even when it didn't have to, Nigeria could not breach the terms of that agreement without consequences.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_