Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has said the return of the £4.2 million seized from James Ibori, a former governor of Delta State, and his associates from United Kingdom to Nigeria is being delayed due to issues around bank documentations.
Malami made this known in a statement issued by Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, on Monday.
The Federal Government had on March 9, 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK on the return of the Ibori loot.
But with the funds yet to be returned over a month after the MoU signing, Malami stated that 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.
According to the AGF, when a country transfers funds sometimes, it may take a little bit time more than expected due to some documentations.
He, however, stated that the Federal Government is working tirelessly to ensure the return of the Ibori loot and other looted Nigerian assets kept outside the country’s territorial boundaries.
“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.
“There is neither complacency nor any delay as efforts are being made to ensure successful transfer of the looted funds,” the statement quoted Malami as saying.
Malami said the loot is being expected “any moment from now”, adding that the Federal Government has contacted the UK government and his office and other relevant government agencies would keep the public informed once the Ibori loot are received and confirmed