The Delta State Government has denied the statement on Tuesday by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, that the recovered £4.2m looted by former Governor James Ibori, has been returned to the coffers of the state.
it would be recalled that while appearing before the Senate committee investigating the status of the recovered loot, Idris said the fund has been returned to Delta state.
However, the Chief Press Secretary to the state government, Olisa Ifejika, on Wednesday countered the Accountant General’s claim, insisting the returned loot is not with the Delta State Government.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government to return the recovered loot to Delta State where it rightly belongs. But the truth is that the money has not hit the Delta State government’s account.
“We saw it yesterday like every other Nigerian when the Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris while appearing before the House of Reps committee on recovered loot made that statement and there was this avalanche of enquires to know whether that money has come to us and the truth is that the money has not come.
“We are happy that they have shown willingness to return send the money and we know that very soon, the money will come,” Ifejika said while addressing journalists at the Government House in Asaba, the state capital on Wenesday.
He assured that the Delta State government will ensure that the funds are judiciously utilised to improve infrastructure across the state, once received.
The loot – £4.2 million – was seized from the associates of convicted former Governor of Delta State, Ibori by the United Kingdom and recently returned to Nigeria.
the recovered loot was recently received by the Federal Government from the United Kingdom.
Mr Idris while appearing before the committee investigating the status of recovered loot stated that “all recovered funds that belong to the respective states are paid directly to the states.”
When asked specifically if the Ibori loot was returned to Delta State, he responded that: “It was paid to the state, it was paid to Delta State. Any recovery that is arising from any state, goes to that state. State governors will not even allow it to fly, they will take the federal government to court. We pay them their money.”
The Accountant General’s response contradicts the earlier position of the Federal government on the recovered loot.
Earlier in March, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had said the Ibori loot would be used for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road and not returned to the Delta State Government where it was pilfered from. (With report from Channels TV)