The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has explained the reasons behind the delay in the return of the £4.2m seized from a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
This was contained in a statement issued on Monday, May 3, by Malami who stated that the delay was caused by issues around bank documentations.
He said although the Federal Government had anticipated two weeks within which the loot would have been repatriated but the government is not in control of the banks.
Recall that the Federal Government, through Malami, had on March 9, 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK on the return of the Ibori loot.
Despite the delay in the return, however, Malami assured Nigerians that the government is working tirelessly; to ensure the return of the Ibori loot; and other looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries.
He explained further that sometimes when a country transfers funds, it may take a little bit time; more than expected due to some documentation.
He said his office and other relevant government agencies would keep the public informed once the Ibori loot is received and confirmed; adding that the Federal Government is in touch with the UK government on the matter.
“Documentations with the banks in different countries often take longer than anticipated.
“We anticipated two weeks; but we are not in control of the banks,” the statement quoted Malami as saying.
He maintained that the Federal Government is working assiduously; to make sure that the transfer goes through successfully.
“There is neither complacency nor any delay; as efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” he further quoted as saying.
He said the loot is being expected “any moment from now.”