Published On: Sat, Feb 12th, 2022

Delta State Govt Absent In A Suit Involving FG Return Of £4.2m Ibori Loot



LAGOS FEBRUARY 12TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Representatives of Delta State Government were conspicuously absent in Federal High Court, Abuja  when  the suit involving Federal Government   return  of  £4.2m  Ibori loot paid to the Federal Government by the United Kingdom government came up for hearing.

The case came up for hearing on Wednesday, February 9th, 2022 at the Federal High court , Abuja with all parties  present  in court except the Delta State Government , the Attorney General of Delta State and the Accountant general of Delta State .

Recall that Human Rights Activist and Lawyer, Chief (Barr)  Malcom Omirhobo had dragged the  Federal Government to  Federal High Court, Abuja, where he prayed the court to declare that by provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the people and government of Delta State were entitled to the £4.2m (about N2.2b) recovered by United Kingdom government from the former  Delta Governor, Chief  James Ibori and his associates.

Respondents in Omirhobo’s suit are  that the Federal Executive Council (FEC); the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF); the Accountant General of the Federation; the Minister of Finance; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Delta State government, the Attorney General of Delta State, and the Accountant General of the state.

Legal luminary equally  prayed the court to declare that the seized funds belong to the people of Delta State, and constitute revenue that can be received by the Nigerian Federation and paid into her Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The applicant therefore prayed the court to declare that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th respondents to expend the recovered loot for projects other than those that are beneficial for the economic development and well being of the people of Delta State.

While speaking to Urhobotoday, an indigene of Delta State who did not want his name on print,   said the   implication of the   absent of   Delta State representatives  in court is that the state government seems to have  conceded  the money to the Federal government.

“Why is Delta State Government representatives not in court? Why is the Delta State Government not enthusiastic about return of the looted fund to its coffer? Is it that government of Delta State is so rich that  it do not have need for the money?” he queried.

Chief Malcom Omirhobo  who was amazed  that the  representatives of  Delta State government were not in court said, “As the Plaintiff,  I was in court but was disappointed that the Delta State Government representatives were  absent. I expected my state government to support me in this case, but  its action seems as if  it is not interested.”

The case has been adjourned to February 16th, 2022.

Recall that in publications in both mainstream newspapers and online media  in May 25th,  2021  the Federal Government claimed to have returned the £4.2m Ibori loot  to Delta State Government. However, the Delta State Government on its part have not come out to publicly admit or deny receipt of the money.

As proof that the fund has not been remitted to delta State government, a  counter affidavit to the Plaintiff, Malcolm Omirhobo’s   affidavit in support of his  originating summons  by the Federal government  sworn to on the  25th of November , 2021,  the Federal government admitted having the money with it, insisting  that  the Delta State Government is not entitled to it.

Similarly, counter affidavit filed by  the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the  stand of the office of the  Accountant General of the Federation,  both of them are opposed to the return of the  looted money to Delta State government.

The public, mostly the indigenes of Delta State are presently at a cross road on the true position of the Ibori £4.2m loot which had since been returned to the Federal Government by the United Kingdom Government.




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