Human rights lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has called for the return of the £4.2million looted by ex-Delta State Governor, James Ibori back to the Niger Delta state.
Falana made the call on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, noting that the Federal Government cannot lay claim to the fund under any law.
“The Federal Government ought to be commended for pursuing this matter having regards to the fact that this case is a collabo issue between the EFCC under Malami/Ribadu and the Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom,” he said.
Falana added, “Having acknowledged the role of the Federal Government, the fund has to return to the source. As the Attorney General has said, the money is over £100 million. So what has been released now is the first tranche of £4.2 million.
“Since the money left the covers of the Delta State Government, it has to be returned once it is recovered.”
While noting that the ex-Delta governor was convicted in the UK under the country’s law, the senior lawyer said the victim of corruption has to be compensated.
Falana argued that Article 35 of the United Nations Convention that is ratified by the United Kingdom and Nigeria respectively, any proceed recovered from corruption should be expended on the victims.
To the human rights lawyer, the victim in the said corrupt practice is the people of Delta State and the state government.
His remarks come a day after the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to return the sum of £4.2 million assets stolen by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori to Nigeria.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing who announced this in Abuja, the nation’s capital said the money was recovered from friends and family members of the former governor.