Nigeria News

NIGERIA: $15m Ibori money, Court fixes Jan 28 for ruling

A Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, adjourned till January 28, to decide whether the Federal Government should be allowed to file further affidavit in support of its bid to inherit $15billion allegedly offered as bribe by former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, in 2007. Trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned for ruling.

Meanwhile, Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Chief Charles Ajuyah, SAN, has accused the Federal Government of deliberately stalling hearing in the substantive issues pertaining to the bribe money.

Insisting that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, lied before the court when it alleged that Delta State Government had on two occasions, transferred N50million to a foreign account operated by Ibori in London, Ajuyah  said it was already late for the Federal Government to file further affidavit.

EFCC had through its counsel, on December 11, 2012, adduced reasons why the money should not be handed over to Delta State Government, which it accused of complicity in money laundering.

The commission told the court that it garnered sufficient evidence that Delta State Government, between 2008 and 2009, illegally transferred over N100 million to London, with a view to helping Ibori wriggle out of money laundering case.

Denying the allegations, Chief Ajuyah, argued that the state had the sole right to take possession of the disowned bribe money.

Refuting the allegation of money laundering, Ajuyah argued that the only money paid to the convicted ex-governor was his pension, an action he said had the backing of the laws guiding the state’s policies.

At the resumed sitting, yesterday, he prayed the court to discard the fresh application dated December 10, 2012, which EFCC brought and proceed with hearing the matter on its merit.

It will be recalled that while the Federal Government was seeking to take possession of the money, Delta State Government on the other hand, had argued  that the money was allegedly offered to the anti-graft agency during the period Ibori held sway as governor of the state.

The money was allegedly offered to persuade the EFCC under its former chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to abort further investigations into allegations of corruption against the former Governor.



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