Mr. Clark wants a dedicated account to be opened in Delta State and the money lodged there.
An elder statesman, Edwin Clark, Tuesday in Abuja jumped into the controversy around the $15 million bribe money given to the former anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu, allegedly by then Delta governor, James Ibori.
Mr. Clark said the money should be returned to Delta State where a dedicated account will administer its use for development goals.
Mr. Clark, a former minister of information, also fired sharp barbs at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, calling for the dismissal of its new head, Ibrahim Lamorde, and the restructuring of the organisation because as he claimed, “corruption had eaten deep into our social fabric [and become an] impunity, due to failure of institutions saddled with the responsibility of fighting corruption.”
He argued that the money, now lodged in the coffers of the Central bank, be returned to the Delta State Government, as it cannot be treated differently from similar cases of confiscation in the past from the governors of Plateau, and Bayelsa. In both cases, Mr. Clark said, the looted funds where returned to the states.
Mr. Clark did not address the fact that when the bribe was given, Mr. Ibori, now serving terms in a British jail, was no longer a governor in Delta State, and that he had sworn on oath that the bribe money was not his own.
Mr. Clark however anchored his position on the argument that Mr. Ibori supervised the worst treasury pillage in the history of the state and that he circumstantially took the money from the state’s supplementary budget.
Both the Federal Government and the Delta State Government are laying claim to the money which now appears to have no legal owner.
The bribe was given to Mr. Ribadu in 2007 at the residence of a former presidential aide and now Senator, Andy Uba.