Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has officially written to the Federal Government to return the £4.2 million funds recovered from a former governor of the state, James Ibori to the state.
Okowa who appeared on a monitored Channels Television programme on Wednesday explained that since the money was recovered from an ex-governor of the state, it would only be just to return the funds to the state.
“I have spoken with the attorney-general of the federation. My attorney-general went to have a meeting with him. I think that we are working and we are likely to come on the same page. We have written a formal letter of protest to Mr President,” the Governor said.
The state is protesting the decision by the Federal Government to spend the funds on federal projects.
Nigeria and the UK had signed a memorandum of understanding on March 9 for the repatriation of the funds recovered from the ex-governor.
The fund, as understood, would be spent on the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
But Okowa stated that the state government expected the Federal Government to take a similar route as the UK Government by returning the money to the source from which it was taken.
Read him: “In the same manner of the relationship created between the UK and Nigeria, we also expect that the Nigerian Government will do the same thing by being magnanimous to return the money back (sic) to the source, which is Delta State.”
He said the state government had provided options to the Federal Government and made a strong case for the state.
According to him: “We have made two suggestions; return the money directly to us or apply it directly to projects that we feel are of importance and are in Delta State so that Deltans can directly benefit from the repatriated funds and I don’t think anybody can fault that…”
He stated: “I do believe that with the approach that we have undertaken it is unlikely that they will refuse the request. It is a strong appeal.”
He said the money would not be missing if returned to Delta state.
Read him again: “I don’t see how the money will develop wings anyway.
“That is why we have directly put down projects – three projects where this money can be applied directly to such a manner that it is something you can investigate.”