Who is the Right Owner of Ibori’s $15m Bribe?

james_iboriThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Delta State government will, on September 20, 2013, know who takes custody of the $15 million which convicted James Ibori, former governor of Delta State, allegedly offered to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, one time executive chairman of EFCC as bribe. The money was believed to have been offered to Ribadu to curtail Ibori’s arrest and prosecution for corrupt related offences.

The parties have been in legal battle over who owns the money. While the EFCC lays claim that the money was a proceed of crime and, as such, should be forfeited to the federal government, Delta State on the other hand insisted that the money belongs to her, contending that Ibori took the said money from the state’s treasury.

Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), EFCC’s counsel, urged the court presided over by Justice Gabrael Kolawole to dismiss the claim of Delta State government to the said $15million and make an order for the final forfeiture of the sum to the federal government in line with provisions of section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006.

Jacobs argued that the claim by Delta State government to the money lacked merit, averring that same Delta government had in 2007 instituted action against EFCC and the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), stating that Ibori should not be investigated and maintained that the state had lost no money from its treasury.

“My Lord, it is too late for the Delta State attorney-general to lay claim to this money because of his action where he instituted a case against the commission saying the governor should not be investigated,” Jacobs argued.

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