Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says a suit instituted by James Ibori, a former governor of Delta state, against the UK is delaying the repatriation of additional looted funds worth more than £80 million.
On March 9, the UK had committed to returning £4.2 million loot recovered from Ibori and his associates.
Malami had said the recovered loot will be used to fund three infrastructural projects — Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano expressway, and the second Niger bridge.
But the repatriation of the funds has been delayed due to documentation process in foreign banks, as claimed by the AGF.
On March 11, Malami had said the federal government is still working on the recovery of additional looted assets within the region of £100 million, linked to Ibori.
Speaking on the recovery of additional funds linked to the former Delta governor, Umar Gwandu, special assistant on media and public relations to Malami, explained that there is an “ongoing case in the UK where more than £80 million is held up because of his (Ibori) appeal”.
The AGF’s spokesman said the delay is as a result of Ibori’s appeal against the UK on the confiscation and repatriation of assets linked to him.
“The money the federal government wants to recover from Ibori is not only £4.2 million,” he said.
“There is a lot of money. So, this one is the one that has been achieved after conviction. It is money gotten from his families, not from Ibori himself.
“The matter relating to the £4.2 million has been sealed; the money will be repatriated and the delay was because of documentation.
“But other funds that are related to Ibori is what we are talking about. If the litigation by Ibori continues, it may hamper the successful recovery of other funds. If a judgment is delivered and you appeal, it means that nobody should enforce that judgment unless a superior court gives another verdict. So, if this continues, it will cause a delay in relation to other funds.”