Ibori’s loot will fund 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos–Ibadan, Abuja–Kano Expressways

The federal government has said that the £4.2m loot recovered from James Ibori, former governor of Delta state, will be used to fund three infrastructural projects including the second Niger bridge.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), listed the two other projects as the Lagos–Ibadan and Abuja–Kano expressways.

The government had earlier deployed $321 million loot recovered from Sani Abacha, former head of state, for the construction of the same projects.

The fresh loot was seized from Ibori who was convicted of fraud and money laundering by a UK court in 2012.

It will be returned to Nigeria following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday by the federal government and the UK.

At the MoU signing in Abuja, Malami said Nigeria remains committed to combating illicit financial flows and ensuring that forfeited or recovered proceeds of corruption are deployed “to the benefit of the masses.”

“It is to be recalled that the Nigerian Government had all along provided the required mutual assistance and backup to the British authorities while the prosecution of James Ibori lasted in London and today, we are rightfully taking benefit of that cooperation,” he said.

“Hence, in consonance with existing framework or model engaged in the management of previous recoveries, the Federal Executive Council under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the instant repatriated funds should be deployed towards the completion of the following legacy projects: the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja – Kano expressway and the Lagos – Ibadan expressway under the coordination of the Nigeria Social Investment Authority (NSIA) to ensure integrity of the process.”

The minister of justice also said a civil society organisation has been engaged to monitor how the recovered funds will be used to fund the three projects.

“We have established, as a government, a reputation of transparency and accountability of utilization of recovered assets as a nation. These assets will in no way be different in terms of application,” he added.