The Delta State government has denied the claim by the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris on Tuesday that the repatriated £4.2m looted by ex-Delta State Governor, James Ibori, has been returned to the state.

 Idris, had made the claim when he appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Assessment and status of all recovered loots movable and immovable assets that Federal Government.

ex-Delta State Governor, James Ibori

But in a swift reaction, the Accountant General of Delta State, Joy Enwa said the state is yet to see the Accountant General’s claim reflect in its account. She appreciated the willingness of the Federal Government to refund the money to the state and promised that the Delta State government will inform the public whenever the state receives the money.

Earlier, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had on March 9 said the 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. Malami had argued that the law that was alleged to have been breached by Ibori was a federal law and that the parties of interests involved in the repatriation of the funds were national and not sub-national governments.

According to Malami, “the major consideration relating to who is entitled to a fraction or perhaps the money in its entirety is a function of law and international diplomacy,” Mr. Malami said.

But the Accountant-General differed in what he told the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee that recoveries are made by the Federal Government on behalf of states. According to him, any recovery arising from looted funds from a particular state would go directly to the state. “It was paid to Delta State,” he said when asked where the money was diverted to. “So such recoveries go specifically to those states. Honourable Chairman, any recovery arising from the looted funds from a particular state goes to the state. The state governors will not even allow this to fly.”

He added: “Some recoveries are for some state governments, specific state governments. I know there was a time recovery was made on behalf of Plateau State, there was one for Bayelsa, now there is one for Delta,” he said when asked where the money was diverted to. You know the state governments will not allow that. They will take the Federal Government to court for holding their money. So we don’t joke or play with that, we pay them their money.”

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