The Nigeria Voters Assembly, a Pro Democracy and Principal Human Rights and Anti Corruption organisation has commended the British Government for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria to return the sum of £4.2 million assets stolen by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori to Nigeria.
The Group noted that the return of the money when finally remitted to Nigeria will clear the doubts of Nigerians about the true love of the British Government for Nigeria.
According to the group, it will “discourage the habit of siphoning public fund from Nigeria to Great Britain and bridge the big gap of trust deficit between the two countries while warning the UK never to encourage its government and Businesses to serve as conduit pipe for looters to siphon proceeds of crimes.”
The group in a press statement signed by its President, Comrade Mashood Erubami, stated that much as the recovery of the stolen fund might be part of the efforts of the current administration to fight corruption, it still frowned at the way the Minister of Justice laid out for how the money to be used.
It then condemned the Minister’s view in very strong terms that “diverting the fund from Delta state into other regions will be an open conversion of what rightly and legally belong to Delta State into projects that should never have benefitted from the proceeds of the loot.
“It is very wrong and unethical to use the returned stolen fund from UK Government for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road under any guise, it will be an open robbery of Peter to pay Paul”, the group said.
The Assembly reiterated that originally, the three regions slated to benefit from these criminal diversions, had their budgets at the time the money was wickedly converted by the Ibori Government for sharing to his families from the budget of Delta state.
The group pinpointed that diverting the money “will be an injustice that must not be allowed to stay.”
The group added that “Seeking the return of the money from UK and distributing it to regions that were never victims of the stolen fund will be a demonstrated instance of perverting justice”, stating that “Delta state was the victim of corruption that diverted the money to the UK, it will be indefensible for the three regions mentioned by the Minister of justice to become the beneficiaries!
“It has been clearly established that the money was wickedly stolen from Delta, denying the state from benefiting from the returned money will make the state suffer double robbery, it should justifiably be returned to the victim state after deducting all recovery expenses.
“The states where the money is being channeled by the FG had and spent their own budgets as at the time that the huge amount of £4.2 was brazenly stolen by the ‘Son’ of Delta, why spending it to benefit these states again?
“It will be the most open act of injustice, cheating and unfairness against the victim state”, group insisted.
Assembly of Voters emphasised, that “the UK Government must insists on the money being paid into the covers of Delta state from where it was stolen to be used for the constructions of road, bridges and other visible development projects, if any justice would be seen to being done.”
The Group finally called on the federal government “to reverse the direction it has unilaterally channelled the money and put the money in a pool to be set aside for the construction of fine, visibly durable roads, railways, housing estate, and bridges to be strictly supervised by appointed civil society groups from outside the state, if only to set the standard for building infrastructural facilities for sustainable development and also shame the Deltans who welcomed and celebrated Ibori’s return to Nigeria with glee, after completing his prison terms which no court was able to deliver in Nigeria as a result of judicial corruption that was ripe in the country!”, Comrade Mashood Erubami averred.The Street Reporters Newspaper is your BREAKING NEWS platform. Do you have Breaking news or Opinion article for us? | *Call: +234 817 504 7979 | Or Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org | Follow Us on Twitter https://twitter.com/streetreporters | Join Our Fans on Facebook: https://facebook.com/streetreporters.ng | Follow us on Instagram https://intagram.com/streetreporters | Advertise With Us: +2348035823617 | Visit Our Website: www.StreetReporters.ng