*FG has paid Delta the money, says Accountant-General of the Federation
By Jake Aimuan
Delta State Government on Tuesday kept sealed lips on claims by the Federal Government that it had paid into the treasury of the Delta State.
The £4.2 million, which was returned by the British Government to Nigeria after prolonged negotiations with the United Kingdom, was last week returned to Nigeria amid fears that the recovered money might be confisticated by the the Federal Government.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Malami, threatened that the federal government would not release the money to the coffers of the Delta State Government.
However, it was gathered on Tuesday evening that the state government was yet to receive the £4.2 million, being part of the Delta State’s funds stolen but recovered from former governor James Ibori, who governed the state between 1999 and 2007.
However, an official of the state government, who pleaded anonymity, told or correspondent that the government reserved comment on the claims of thel Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, that the funds had been paid to Delta State.
The source close to the state accountant-general said that the money from the UK was yet to be received at the time of filing this report.
The Accountant-General of the Federation on Tuesday told a committee of the House of Representatives that the said money had been duly paid into the account of Delta State Government.
Idris stated this in Abuja on Tuesday while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee on Assessment and Status of All Recovered Loots Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for Effective, Efficient Management and Utilisation.
Referring to similar cases in the past, accountant-general of the federation told the House Committee that such funds looted from the treasury of a state were always returned to the state whenever such was recovered or repatriated.
According to Idris, an aggrieved state can sue the Federal Government to get such recover such money, the federal accountant-general further affirmed.
However, the source noted that the governor or state government could not react to mere hearsay, which the statement credited to the country’s accountant-general really was.
“I don’t think you’d expect the government to react to news everybody saw on television. I’d say we all heard it on national news like everyone did,” the source who chose to be anonymous told our correspondent on Tuesday evening.
“I think it would be premature for government to talk about a claim made by the federal accountant-general on air or while speaking with a committee of the House of Representatives.” When Delta is duly credited with such payment, then it would be proper for the government to make an official pronouncement on the matter.”
“In the same way, I think we shoould just wait until the state government says that it has received the said money into its treasury.”