The Federal Government of Nigeria has made a dramatic U-turn and returned the £4.2m looted by a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori to Delta State, the original owners of the money.
The Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective Efficient Management and Utilisation.
The Accountant-General, who was grilled by the committee for over one hour, stated that such funds looted from the treasury of a state are always returned to the state.
According to him, states can sue the Federal Government to recover such funds.
This contradicts the earlier position of the Federal Government, which had consistently maintained that Delta State had no claim to the repatriated funds.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had spearheaded that position, claiming in March that one of the conditions for the UK repatriating the Ibori loot was that the money must be tied to certain federal projects which include the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja-Kano rail and the Second Niger Bridge and a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between both parties.