Reps move to halt appropriation of £4.2m recovered from Ibori


The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to halt the appropriation of £4.2 million recovered from a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

The resolution followed a unanimous adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) at plenary on Wednesday.

The motion was co-sponsored by nine other lawmakers from Delta State.

The United Kingdom government will in the next two weeks return to the Nigerian government about £4.2 million recovered from Mr Ibori, his associates and relatives.

Representatives of both the U.K. and Nigerian governments signed an agreement for the return of the money to Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who signed on behalf of Nigeria, said the money would be used to finance three major projects, namely the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Road and the Second Niger Bridge.

Motion

In the motion, Mr Elumelu said the £4.2 million, being proceeds of looted funds recovered from Mr Ibori, was being transferred to the coffers of the federal government for appropriation.

According to him, this is without recourse to the Delta State Government.

The lawmaker said the money belonged to the people of Delta and should be refunded to the coffers of the state government for developmental purposes.

Mr Elumelu said that assets seized by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from other states were returned to those states “as the case in Bayelsa and Abia”.

“If the federal government is allowed to appropriate the funds without recourse to the Delta Government, the people of the state will be short-changed.

“They will be deprived of their legitimate resources to improve on the economy of the state as well as provide the requisite infrastructure for their benefit,” he said.

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Resolution

Meanwhile, the House mandated its Committees on Finance, Justice and Recovered Funds to investigate the matter.

It also urged the Ministry of Finance to stop disbursement pending the final determination of the matter by the House.

The House also requested the Ministry of Finance and Attorney General of Federation to furnish it with all particulars relating to the money.

In his ruling, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Wase, who presided over the plenary session, mandated the committees to conclude investigations and report to the House within two weeks.

(NAN)

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