By Victor Graham
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to ensure that the €4.2 million Ibori loot be returned to Delta State.
The lawmakers on Wednesday said the funds were stolen from Delta State and therefore should be returned to the state to assist the government to build more infrastructure.
The House came out with the resolution after a motion of urgent public importance was sponsored by all the lawmakers from Delta State.
The lawmakers also said the total money was €6.2 million and not €4.2 million as being reported and asked the Federal Ministry of Finance to make all particulars relating to the recovered money available to them.
In the same vein, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), has said that the looted funds are meant for Delta State and should be returned to the state government.
National Secretary of the IYC, Comrade Frank Pukon, in a statement said the comments on the loot by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami was insulting to the people of Delta State.
The IYC noted that in the past, looted funds were given to the respective states and wondered why the case of Delta will be different, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to caution Malami on the issue.
The statement said :
“This decoy of President Buhari to rob Peter for Paul is an insult to Delta state government and Deltans in particular.
“We, therefore, call on President Buhari to rescind his decision and demand the Delta State Government to explore all windows constructively to take what belongs to Deltans and Delta State; indeed.
“The IYC view President Buhari’s stand on the soon to be repatriated Delta funds as unacceptable and unsavoury, which will not be condoned”.
The United Kingdom had on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to return the money stolen by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori during his tenure as governor of the state.
Mr. Malami had in an interview said the recovery of the stolen fund is part of the efforts of the current administration to fight corruption and that the money will be used for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road.
Despite sharp criticism, the Justice Minister insisted that it will be used for federal projects and not returned to the Delta State Government where it was pilfered from.
He 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.
“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,” Malami said.