The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has written a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the £4.2 million repatriated from the money allegedly looted by former governor of the state, James Ibori, asking the Federal Government to return the funds to the state for infrastructure projects.
Okowa who made this known while featuring on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today on Wednesday, said he has spoken with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), and that he is working with the state’s attorney-general on ways to resolve the matter and return the repatriated loot 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,” Okowas said.
The governor said the protest by the state is as a result of the Federal Government’s resolve to use the funds looted from the state by Ibori to fund projects like the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which are not located in the state.
Okowa said he had expected the Federal Government to return the recovered money to the state where the funds were looted from.
“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 to the source, which is Delta State,” he said.
Also speaking on the protest letter to the President, the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the letter was more of an appeal to the Federal Government on the need to complete ongoing infrastructure projects and an assurance that the money will be ploughed into the completion of the Ughelli-Asaba dualisation project.
He also listed the ongoing Warri/Uwvie Storm Drain as another project for completion with the looted fund.
“The state needs huge injection of funds to ensure its Warri/Uwvie Storm Drain completion. The letter did not say more than what Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said on television.
“The letter simply explained to the Presidency why the money should come to Delta. It said we have got infrastructure projects which are ongoing and we are saying that federal government should please support us.
“We need more money for our projects. For instance, the Federal government paid us part of the money for the Ughelli-Asaba dualisation project which ex-governor Uduaghan started and we put all the money back into the project. This particular money will help us push it through.
“Also, the letter highlighted the need to deploy part of the money into the Warri/Uwvie Storm Water Drain project. That money will in no small measure help in its completion,” Aniagwu said.