Itse Sagay
Itse Sagay

Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay has said it would be wrong to use £4.2 million to be returned by the United Kingdom as loot of former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, for projects outside the state.

Sagay who spoke in an interview with PUNCH, asked the federal government to return to money Delta State.

The UK had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the federal government to return £4.2 million loot recovered from Ibori and his associates.

The federal government had said the loot would be used to fund three infrastructural projects: the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos–Ibadan and Abuja–Kano expressways.

But Sagay said it is unacceptable that the funds will be used for projects outside Delta state where the money was taken from.

“The money came from Delta state. Naturally, it must go back to Delta state. I know the basis of the federal government argument. It is not just about the MoU. There is a provision in the EFCC Act which says all monies recovered should go to the federal government,” Sagay told PUNCH

“I think they may want to rely on this. However, that law is void because a law cannot be based on transferring the assets belonging to one person to another. My advice is for the federal government to ask the Delta state government to nominate projects they want to undertake and then money would be released for the projects.

“The Ibori money being used for Lagos-Ibadan expressway and others is unacceptable. You cannot use money from Delta State to fix projects in other places. The Federal Government can also use the money to fund its many projects in Delta State like the Benin-Warri road and many others.”

The decision of the federal government to channel the loot into projects outside Delta state has sparked off reactions from major stakeholders in the country.

The house of representatives has asked the federal government to halt the disbursement of £4.2m Ibori loot.

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), also said the loot should be returned to Delta state.

The federal government said it is still working on the recovery of additional looted assets in the region of £100 million linked to the former governor of Delta state.