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FG expects additional £100m Ibori loot

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  • Delta, Falana tackles FG over loot use

The Federal Government is expecting over £100m (N527bn) allegedly stolen by a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, and his associates, Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said.

He said this Tuesday night on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.

Delta State Government has said it will challenge at the Supreme Court the move by the Federal Government to take over recovered £4.2m Ibori loot that the United Kingdom promised to release to Nigeria.

Malami also said $100m traced to the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, was being expected.

He said, “As it is we have succeeded in recovering £4.2m from the UK. We are still pursuing other assets even as it relates to the Ibori assets.

“The quantum of the amount involved was within the region of over £100m (N2.2bn) and it is out of it that we have succeeded in recovering a fraction of £4.2m and we are still pursuing an additional sum within the region of £100m (N527bn) and that will be a function of conviction and subsequent recovery process.”

The AGF said the money would not be handed over to the Delta State Government because the crime that led to the diversion of the funds was a federal one.

He further argued that one of the conditions for the UK repatriating the Ibori loot was that the money must be tied to certain federal projects which were gien as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja-Kano rail and the Second Niger Bridge and a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between both parties.

However, human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), described Malami’s position as faulty.

Falana said funds stolen from the Bayelsa State Government years ago were returned to the state government.

He said this was what also happened in the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State who was convicted for diverting state funds.

The senior advocate said giving the Ibori loot to the Federal Government was at variance with Section 162 of the constitution.

Falana said, “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.

“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.”

Delta has rejected the plan by the Federal Government to use the recovered loot for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Road, and the Lagos-Ibadan road.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Ehiedu Aniagwu, said the proposed use of the recovered loot (£4.2m) by the FG was injustice to the government and people of Delta.

He said, “We would try to get take advantage of the legal system to make the federal government correct the injustice they are about to visit on us as a state.

“If they are quite sure that the funds they are about to repatriate left Delta State on account of those who have governed the state in the past, on what basis would they now take the money to another place? Under which law?”

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Hold Peter Obi, supporters responsible if anything happens to me – Reno Omokri

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Reno Omokri

Former presidential aide, Reno Omokri has raised an alarm over the continued threat to his life and that of his immediate family.

Omokri who served under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration said Peter Obi and his supporters should be held responsible if anything happens to him and members of his family.

“If anything should happen to my immediate and extended family and I, Peter Obi and his consultant broadcast journalist should be held responsible!”

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Galandachi, National Mosque Imam, cautions politicians against using religion to divide Nigeria

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Elder statesman and Imam (Murshid) of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu  Galadanchi

Elder statesman and Imam (Murshid) of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu  Galadanchi, has cautioned politicians against using religion to divide Nigerians, saying it would not augur well for the country.

The cleric, who spoke at the National Inter-Religion conference organised by the Kano State government observed that some politicians from both Christianity and Islam, have already started exploiting religion to cause confusion and violence in their campaigns.

He also flayed politicians who out  to rig the coming elections by hook or by crook, alleging that among those determined to use illegal methods to win the polls were those ones deploying religion in their campaigns, including religion, to achieve their goals.

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“Some of our politicians, unfortunately from the two religions, are using their religion to emphasise our differences and causing disagreements, violence and fights among Nigerians.  This has already begun to happen during their campaigns in many places…Let me say that one would be standing on a highly dented ground if he used religion in this manner and at the expense of his own country. I find it pertinent, in a situation like this, to remind ourselves as Nigerians that Almighty Allah has graciously granted us, in this country, unlimited bounties. We have a very beautiful country, this is a very beautiful country, a very fertile country, full of natural and human resources.”

Galadanchi observed that all of these were granted to Nigeria so that its people would work together for its development and to bring it at equal standing with the rest of the developed world.

He restated the need for the political class to be reeducated to recognise the fact that Islam and Christianity preach tolerance and peaceful coexistence among its people and among the members of the human community. SUN

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Obasanjo: 2023 poll should be Nigeria’s turning point

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is optimistic that next year would be a turning point for Nigeria after successful general elections.

He however cautioned Nigerians not to allow emotions cloud their sense of judgement at the poll.

Obasanjo spoke on Sunday when the leadership of Mzough U Tiv, a Benue socio-cultural group, paid him a visit at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He said the elections should be a turning point for Nigeria, adding that he is in support of a change of leadership from the North to the South.

The former president urged the middle belt to subsequently advocate for power to come to the region.

“If Nigeria is ready to get it right, the 2023 election should be a turning point. We should not go for emotion that will destroy us,” he said.

Obasanjo said with the growing population of the country, agriculture would be the solution to feeding Nigerians and not oil and gas.

“Only farming and agribusiness could tackle the nation’s growing population. Farming and agribusiness is what will feed the nation,” he said.

Obasanjo encouraged Tiv people to focus on farming and agribusiness, adding that he hopes to establish an industry in the state next year.

Iorbee Ihagh, leader of the group, said the visit was “basically to interface with you as our former head of state, a political pillar, a nationalist and elder statesman to appreciate your overwhelming love, passion and concern you have demonstrated over the Tiv people”.

He asked the former president to consider the need for the establishment of a fruit juice industry in Benue state and the power-sharing formula in the country.

“With regards to the current power equation in the country, we in the Mzough u Tiv in conjunction with the Middle Belt Forum had unanimously resolved for power shift from the north to the south for fairness, justice and a true federalism,” he said.

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