A lawyer, Tiipa Okponipere, has filed an application before an Abuja Federal High Court asking that the about 2.3 billion ($15 million) allegedly received from former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), should be returned to the government and people of Delta State.
Last week, the court ordered that the money be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government after the EFCC filed an application to that effect.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole had ordered the EFCC to publish the interim order in 'Thisday', after which the money would be forfeited to the Federal Government if no one lays bona fide claim to it 14 days after the advertorial is published.
In the application, Okponipere is asking the court to declare that as of April 2007 when Ibori allegedly offered the bribe to the EFCC, he was still the governor of Delta State with all rights and privileges attached to the office.
He is equally asking the court to declare that the money which has been in custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since April 2007 belongs to the government and people of Delta State.
He is similarly asking the court to order the Attorney General of the Federation, EFCC and CBN to return the money to the government and people of Delta State.
He wants a declaration that any application or order granting the money to any other entity other than the government and people of Delta State would be illegal and of no effect.