The Oghara Development Union (ODU), Lagos Branch, has asked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to tell Nigerians the truth about the delay in repatriating the proceeds of assets confiscated from the three ladies associated with the former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori.
In a press statement issued yesterday the union argued that Malami's claim that bank documentation was delaying the return of the funds was scandalous and far from reality.
The union added that Malami's claim was also laughable, noting that the minister gave no idea of when the monies would be returned to Nigeria and Delta State.
It also accused the British authorities of playing games.
The statement signed by the General Secretary, Mr. Sunday Agbofodoh, "we say this because we know for a fact that the monies in question have been in the custody of the British Government since 2010, a clear eleven years plus ago. Also, it is instructive that Nigeria and Britain had long ago signed an MoU on the repatriation of the proceeds. Both parties have continuously celebrated this victory in the press.
"We know for a fact that our beloved son, Chief James Onanefe Ibori is a victim of political persecution concealed as an anti-corruption fight, and we are happy that Nigerians are now knowing the truth of the wicked lies that deluged, swamped and overwhelmed him.
He has served out his prison sentence and since returned to Nigeria and his native Oghara community. We are however concerned that facts are still being twisted for propaganda purposes only to keep the issue in the media in perpetuity".
The union said that the people of Oghara wanted a fast resolution of the civil confiscation and repatriation process.
It decried what it described as the delay tactics on the part of the British Government.
"It is incomprehensible that in this day and age, it would take years for banks in two different countries to wire funds from one to the other".
The ODU added that neither the Attorney-General nor Britain has addressed the question of the shortfall between the real amounts confiscated and what Britain said it would return to Nigeria.
"We are in full knowledge of the actual confiscated amount from the three women and it is £6, 838, 851.68. Of this amount, £629, 417.63 came from the sale of the property belonging to Ibori's sister, while £2, 649, 959.45 and £3, 559, 474. 60 came from the other two ladies. The amount is not the £4.2 million as Britain and Malami claimed, and it was fully paid in 2010".