Ibori Loot: Malami Wants UN To Return More Stolen Funds To Nigeria
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, while addressing the 14th United Nations Crime Congress in kyoto, Japan, urged the international community to join forces with the Nigerian Government to ensure that funds looted to foreign countries by corrupt elements were returned back to the country.
His call came days after the British Government had agreed to return to the country about £4.2 million looted by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori.
The AGF told the UN Congress that he wanted relevant authorities to support Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight, adding that “Our major objective should be to narrow the gap between confiscated assets and actual assets returned to their legitimate owners”.
This is contained in a statement issued by Malami’s Spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, on Friday.
Malami stressed that there was need “for International Cooperation in facilitating Mutual Legal Assistance for tracing, freezing, seizing, confiscating and return to Nigeria proceeds of corruption stashed abroad.”
The AGF also assured the world that Nigeria was committed to phasing out all forms of terrorism in the country.
“Nigeria condemns cybercrimes and terrorism in all manifestations and calls on states to strengthen cooperation at all levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism through enhancement of timely information sharing, logistical support and capacity-building activities to affected states, including combating the linkage between terrorism and corruption, illicit financial flows, cybercrime and trafficking in drugs.
“Nigeria is simultaneously addressing the socio-economic challenges at the root of crimes. It is, therefore, pertinent to underscore the importance of more international community investment in stakeholders’ capacity building in order to improve crime prevention and criminal justice efforts,” he said.
THE WHISTLER reported that Malami had said that the £4.2 million Ibori loot would be used to fund the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja – Kano Expressway and the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
But the federal government’s position was greeted by contrary opinions on social media, which argued that the money be returned to the coffers of the Delta State government from where it was looted.
Even a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, had in a Channels Television interview on Wednesday urged the federal government to return the money to Delta state, in the interest of justice.
“Since the money left the covers of the Delta State Government, it has to be returned once it is recovered,” Falana said.
On his part, Malami explained that Ibori breached federal and international law, and as such the return of the funds by the British Government would be used to improve the Nigerian state as part of agreements for the release.