Delta State Government has said the N50 million paid into the account of the state former governor, Chief James Ibori, was his pension entitlements and other benefits, which are very legal.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah, who stated this Wednesday in a statement, said it was imperative to explain the additional affidavit filed by the Economic and Finacial Crime Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court in Abuja, opposing the state's application to collect $15 million Ibori bribe money.
The EFCC, in its additional affidavit, alleged that if the $15 million was paid to the Delta State Government, it would be paid back to Ibori.
It further alleged that the money was paid to the former governor for the furnishing of his house and for his pension.
But, Ogeah stated that "no allegation of illegally was made against Delta State Government by the EFCC, the truth is that like every other elected governor who had served the state, Chief Ibori was paid his pension entitlement and other benefits alongside his deputy under existing state law, that is, the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 and the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits (Amendment) Law 2009.
"As can be seen, there is no iota of illegality in the payments made to Chief Ibori as it was made under approved budget and paid to the beneficiaries through their designated bank accounts in Nigeria after following due process.
"This clarification is necessary so that the media do not input illegality or improper motive for an act done pursuant to a statute.
"It should also be noted that Chief Ibori's tenure as governor of Delta State has not been annulled by any court of law and he is legitimately entitled to the pension and other benefits received under the law," adding that this serves "to clarify the misrepresentation of facts by some sections of the media."