The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has disclosed that the loot recovered from former Delta State Governor, James Ibori will not be sent back to the state.
Malami and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing had on Tuesday March 9 announced the return of £4.2 million which were recovered from Mr. Ibori and his friends.
In an interview later that day on Channels Television, Malami said the money which will get to Nigeria in two weeks time will be used for federal projects. He disclosed they will 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 justified this by saying that Ibori breached a federal law and that the parties of interests involved in the repatriation of the funds were national and not sub-national governments.
“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.
“All the processes associated with the recovery were consummated by the federal government and the federal government is, indeed, the victim of crime and not sub-national.”
When asked if the British government had insisted that the money be spent on certain projects, Mr. Malami said it was not “a matter of insistence but a matter of negotiation between two sovereign states.”
The AGF also disclosed that the federal government is working on the recovery of additional looted assets within the region of £100 million linked to James Ibori.
“The quantum of the amount involved was within the region of £100 million. It is out of it that we succeeded in the recovery of £4.2 million. We are still pursuing additional sums within the estimated region of £100 million. That would be a function of conviction, as I stated earlier, and subsequent recovery process.
“There is still another component of Abacha’s asset being pursued for recovery and that is within the region of $100 million.
“The assets that we’re now pursuing within the immediate reach are additional Ibori and Abacha assets and, some of these assets are within the region of £100 million relating to Ibori, and $100 million to Abacha.”