Ibori Loot: ‘It’s Grand Theft With A Receipt, A Broad Day-Light Looting Of Loots’ , Sam Omatseye Slams FG
Respected columnist and Editorial Board Chairman of The Nation Newspaper, Sam Omatseye has frowned at the plan of the Federal Government to use the repatriated loot of former Governor of Delta , James Ibori to reconstruct roads in other regions of the country.
Omatseye in his column on Monday titled, Delta’s Will argued that it was wrong for the government at the centre to decide on the usage of the money belonging to Delta State people. The seasoned writer described the act as a ‘ grand theft with a receipt’.
“By diverting Delta money to the centre, we are witnessing grand theft with a receipt. It is licensed larceny. It is broad day-light looting of loot. It is federal fraud without shame. It is like a crazy hen eating up its day-old chic” furious Omatseye wrote. .
He continued, “It might have hurt then to say it was Delta money. That would have given them a moral high ground today. But this essayist wonders if it would have made a difference for the Attorney-general and his men in Buhari’s government in deciding what to do with the money. The decision to make it federal money on the basis that the Delta State government said it was not missing is one of the most irresponsible acts of financial impunity in our history.
“Ibori went to jail. That means he stole the money. The UK court said he did and that accounted for his incarceration. Those who applauded and celebrated Ibori’s time in jail are now not ready to admit that the money belongs to Delta State. Some SANs logged onto the specious logic that the UK government took the money as its own, and it is only giving it back to us as an act of benevolence. Some SANs need education on justice and the dignity of the black man.
“If a Briton stole British government money and brought it here for safe keeping, and he was sentenced here to jail, shall we say it is our money? I think this is colonial mentality. It is a drawback from the slave trade era. The British think what is theirs is theirs, and what is ours is theirs.
“ Lawyers should understand that the law is made for justice. It is the same way the British took our people as chattel, guzzled our oil, our palm oil and robbed us of our rubber, cocoa, and ivory. They still display today, with proprietary arrogance, our Ife and Benin artworks of genius in their museums. “The law never made anyone a whit more just,” noted American essayist Henry David Thoreau.
“If, as I have stated before, Ibori went to jail, it was because of the money in question. He was governor of Delta State. It was money allocated to Delta State. It was money meant to do roads, build houses, educate and elevate the lives of Delta State citizens. Anyone who denies this is the bigger liar. No one ought to defend those who said it was not Delta money. It was and is. The accounts paper trail followed the money to Ibori and to Delta. Now that it has returned it should follow the same path to those who own it.
“It is simple. Give Deltans their money. If the government lied, should the average citizen suffer bad roads or bad schools because of that? The average citizen had no access to the account. If the UK investigators did what even the local courts in their moral perfidy could not, why make the ordinary man on the streets of Ughelli or Agbor moan?
“To say it is not Delta money is to say because I swallowed a frog and denied it, it means I didn’t swallow it. It is corporeal self-deception. Shakespeare said, man to thyself be true. I say to the Federal government: To Nigeria be true, to Delta be true”.