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Recovered £4.2m ‘Ibori loot’ for completion of 2nd Niger Bridge, others – Malami

Nigeria’s attorney-general and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, said on Tuesday that the £4.2 million recovered from friends and family of James Ibori, a former governor of oil-rich Delta State, would be committed to completing the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano Highway, and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Malami made this known following the signing of agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of the United Kingdom for the return of the £4.2 million recovered loot.

Construction of the 1.63 kilometre Second Niger Bridge started in September 2018, with completion projected at February 2022. It is to cost N336 billion.

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Also, the rehabilitation of the 43.6 Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is expected to be concluded this year, while the Abuja-Kano road project is expected to be delivered in 2023 with N809 billion approved.

Malami signed for the Federal Government while Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, signed for the UK government.

The recovered money is due to return to Nigeria in two weeks’ time, Malami said, adding that the recovery was part of the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to fight corruption.

He said the signing of the MoU for the return of the money marked another threshold in the Federal Government’s quest to attain full recovery of all looted assets, prevent abuse of recovered assets and ensure optimal utilisation of such recovered assets for the benefit of Nigerians.

Speaking at the signing event, Laing said the money was recovered from friends and family members of the former governor.

She frowned against the trend of siphoning money from the country to the UK, saying it has affected the level of trust between the two countries.

Laing, however, warned that the UK would no longer be used as a destination for looters to siphon proceeds of crimes.

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