Thursday 30 August 2012

$15m Ibori loot: Chibuike Achigbu lays claims for ownership, disregard FG and Delta govt

The battle between the Federal Government and the Delta State Government over which of them has the right to claim the $15m cash allegedly received by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as bribe money from former governor, James Ibori, took a strange twist on Wednesday as a new claimant laid claim to the money.

The claimant, Chibuike Achigbu, told an Abuja Federal High Court that the sum was actually monetary donations pulled together by a group of unnamed businessmen to fund the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007.

Achigbu told the court that the cash had nothing to do with Ibori, or any attempt to bribe the EFCC.

He said he actually handed the $15m cash to Dr. Andy Uba, then a presidential aide but currently a serving Senator, with instructions to invite the EFCC to investigate, and certify that the campaign fund was accumulated honestly and in good faith, before it could be donated to the PDP, in line with financial regulations guiding campaign donations.

He said it was from Uba that the EFCC received the money, as confirmed by an affidavit deposed by the Delta State Government in the suit where it laid claim to the money.

Achigbu, who said he is a businessman with substantial investment in the oil and gas industry, further told the court that the two parties laying claim to the cash-the Federal Government and Delta State – had nothing to do with the money and as such, have no right to have it forfeited to them.

Achigbu’s application, in which he asked the court to join him in the battle for the controversial $15m, was filed on his behalf by a high profile legal team that included three Senior Advocates of Nigeria, namely, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, Okey Amaechi, and A. J. Owonikoko.

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