Senior lawyer and rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has taken issue with the position of the Federal Government on the £4.2m allegedly stolen by former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
According to Falana, the fund was looted from the coffer of Delta and it is only fair for the federal government to return it to the people of the state.
To buttress his argument, the lawyer made reference to the funds stolen from the Bayelsa State Government which were returned to the state government years ago.
He further pointed out that a similar scenario also played out in the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State who was convicted for diverting state funds.
“The £4.2m does not belong to the Federal Government. The money confiscated from Governor Joshua Dariye in the United Kingdom was recovered by the Federal Government, repatriated to Nigeria and returned to the Plateau State Government,” he said.
“The money confiscated from Governor DSP Alamieyesigha in the UK was recovered by the Federal Government, repatriated to Nigeria and remitted to the Account of Bayelsa State Government.
“Since what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander the sum of £4.2m confiscated from Governor James Ibori in the United Kingdom and recovered by the Federal Government has to be remitted to the Account of the Delta State Government.”
He said the memorandum of understanding signed by the representatives of the British Government and the Federal Government cannot supersede the constitution which has prohibited any form of discrimination in the country.
Earlier, the minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said Nigeria was expecting a further £1m of the Ibori loot from the UK.