Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday confirmed that the Federal Government had recovered $700 million looted funds in the last four years, including the just received £4.2 million stolen from Delta State’s treasury by an ex-governor, James Ibori, from the United Kingdom.
Malami gave this hint during a virtual international conference on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF)
He explained: “Nigeria, through proactive and collaborative efforts with other countries, has recovered and ensured the return of over $700 million from the US, the UK, Bailiwick of Jersey, Switzerland, and Ireland in the past four years.
“We are still working with our international partners and other countries to ensure that all Nigeria’s assets that are identified are recovered.”
According to him, the government was able to recover much of the looted funds through different mechanisms, including voluntary asset declaration process approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in Executive Order 008.
Malami expatiated: “In this way, we believe that if Nigerians or Nigerian entities come forward to declare their assets wherever located, the government will apply a levy against those assets and also bring the assets within the tax regime.
“We are also considering different ways to apply non-conviction based procedures in asset recovery to make it less cumbersome and reduce the time spent in court,” he added.
On the just recovered Ibori loot, the minister pointed out that “the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian assets, in the execution of public oriented projects.”
It would be recalled that Malami had on May 3, pledged that his office and other relevant government agencies would keep the general public informed once the Ibori loot was received and confirmed.