The Federal Government, on Tuesday confirmed that it has received N2.4 billion (£4,214,017.66) million recovered from former Governor James Ibori of Delta State.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, made the confirmation, said the money had been credited into a designated Federal Government account via naira since May 10.
He had said two weeks after that the payment of the money to Nigeria was being delayed by documentation processes in foreign banks.
According Umar Gwandu, spokesperson for the Minister who issued the statement, said the money was paid into the Nigerian government’s account in Naira.
He had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the repatriation, noting that the development was in line with the current administration’s posture to sustain the country’s reputation as being one that deployed recovered assets to the execution of people-oriented projects.
Since the pact for repatriation of the funds, there have been heated argument among Nigerians on whether the money should be returned to the Delta State Government.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, had maintained that the money is returned to the state where it was allegedly misappropriated.
But the Federal Government argued that the fund is deployed for better infrastructure, including the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos–Ibadan and Abuja–Kano expressways.
Reacting, the Delta State Government said it will keep engaging the Federal Government through dialogue for sharing of the recovered loot.
The immediate past Commissioner for information, Charles Aniagwu, said the Federal Government, being a good father, would be just in dealing with the issue.
He said the central government had shown a lot of “good faith and maturity by listening to questions we raised over the looted funds and the state would be accommodated in due course.”
Also, the House of Representatives member representing Ughelli and Udu Federal Constituency of Delta State, Francis Waive, has insisted that the money should be returned to the coffers of the state government.
He identified with the position of the Delta caucus, led by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu.