Wednesday, 5 November 2014

UK To Return £6.8M Ibori Loot ToNigeria

James Ibori
The United Kingdom government is set to return an additional £6.8 million of the confiscated loot of former
Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, to Nigeria.

The UK Metropolitan Police Senior Investigator, Mr. Rupert Broad, disclosed this in London yesterday at a meeting on “Supporting Policing in Nigeria: What Role for Police in the Nigerian Diaspora” held in the House of Commons, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.

However, commenting on the development, a public policy analyst wondered if the federal government
would upon receipt of the £6.8 million, do the needful by returning the funds to the Delta State Government, which is the true owner and beneficiary of the Ibori loot.

While speaking on the UK and Nigeria’s anti-corruption partnership, Broad said: “Out of the £8 million
confiscated from Ibori, £1.2 million had so far been retuned to Nigeria, while the rest was waiting for
redistribution as to when it would be sent back to Nigeria.”

He also said an additional £80 million had been temporarily confiscated from Ibori and his associates,
including one of his lawyers, Mr. Patrice Gohil.

“Approximately, £80 million is temporarily frozen and a confiscation hearing has been fixed for April 2015,
where the judge will determine how much was stolen, after which it would be returned to Nigeria.”
The British Southcrown Court in April 2012 sentenced Ibori to 13 years jail term for fraud and money
laundering.

Broad, who attributed the success of the Ibori case to partnership with the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), said: “The case signified Nigeria’s commitment to the fight corruption.

“In the light of the Ibori case, Nigeria has done a fantastic job in tackling corruption.
“Corruption does not go away easily, addressing it requires continuous process and the UK Metropolitan
Police will continue to collaborate with Nigerian authorities on cross border international investigation.”

Similarly, the Director of the UK Nigeria Police Forum, Mr. Nsikan Etuk, said the Diaspora was a powerful tool for the reformation of the nation’s police force.

Etuk, who spoke on “Supporting Policing in Nigeria,” expressed the commitment of the forum in collaborating with government in tackling challenges impeding efficiency in policing in the country.

He said the forum, whose membership included serving and retired police personnel, was established following challenges facing the Nigerian community in the UK.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Kunle Bamgbose, said the nation’s police officers were among the brightest in Africa, adding that they were only impeded by operational challenges.

He said: “Inadequate equipment such as communication gadgets, the lack of efficient forensic laboratories and other logistic problems are some of the challenges facing the police force.”

Bamgbose, however, said: “It is difficult to impose UK policing culture in Nigeria because the environments are different.”

According to him, partnership in training and capacity building of officers will be an ideal area of
collaboration.

The meeting, which had participants from the Nigerian community, was chaired by the Chairperson of the UK.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria, Mrs. Meg Hillier.

Source:
ThisDay Newspaper