James Ibori loot: Delta asks federal government to return recovered fund to state

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Delta State Government on Tuesday reacted to receipt by the Nigerian government of the £4.2 million first tranche of the Ibori loot from the goverment of the United Kingdom.

The state government restated its earlier stand that since the returned money was illegally taken out of Delta’s Treasury, it should appropriately be returned to Delta State.

This is coming on the dissolution, on Tuesday, of the Delta State Executive Council (EXCO) with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa asking the Secretary to State Government (SSG), all civil commissioners and the governor’s aides to surrender all vital government documents and property to their respective permanent secretaries in the ministries, departments and agencies.

The outgoing state commissioner for information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, reiterated the position of the state government on the just repatriated Ibori looted funds while briefing newsmen on resolutions and approvals at the state EXCO meeting on Tuesday before its dissolution.

Aniagwu said, “You’ll recall that we said those who are repatriating the funds made it very clear as to the source of the funds they were repatriating. We also made it clear to you that we have continued to engage the Federal Government based on the Principles of Dialogue; and, that the Federal Government has shown a lot of good faith in listening to the issues we have raised.

“So, let’s leave it at that as it’s not something we deal with in the media. At the end of the day, , we’ll let you know how much we have got; but we’re convinced that that the Federal Government, being a good father, will remain just in dealing with this particular issue.”

However, speaking on the dissolution of the state executive committee by the governor, Aniagwu, who was flanked at the post-Exco briefing by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said that the decision had nothing to do with the 2023 governorship election.

While noting that the governor was full of appreciation to the team that had worked with him since 2015, Aniagwu noted that the dissolution would offer Governor Okowa an ample chance “to inject new blood into the EXCO” towards the realization of the administration’s development agenda called ‘Greater Delta’.

Nevertheless, the EXCO took some far-reaching decisions before Governor Okowa, who presided over the meeting, announced its dissolution.

The EXCO approved the sum of N2.8 billion for the upgrade of of facilities at the three new state-owned universities as the institutions are poised to commence full academic activities.

The universities concerned include Dennis Osadebey University, Anwai-Asaba, University of Delta, Agbor and the University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, he said.

The establishment of three new public secondary schools and one primary school were also approved at the meeting, including a primary school in Ibusa and the secondary schools to be located in Bomadi, Forcados and Iyede in Isoko North, he said.

Moreover, Aniagwu further disclosed that the state government had resolved to key into the Oil Palm Development initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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