James Ibori will be returning back to Nigeria ‘ASAP’ after been set free by Southwark Crown court.
Speaking to BBC’s Nick Eastman, the ex Governor of Delta State also stated he will be appealing his conviction despite pleading guilty to fraud totalling almost £50m.
See the clip of interview with Nick below.
Ibori is supposedly set for a payout after his release date as agreed were sneakily postponed by the Home Secretary in an attempt to extend his prison sentence.
— APC United Kingdom (@APCUKingdom) February 2, 2017
His appeal may favour him since it has emerged that police officers who were involved in case took bribes.
This is good news for Ibori whose fate is still yet to be decided when he enters Nigeria, given EFCC suggested he will not be off the hook when he returns.
What happened to Ibori?
James Ibori, 57 was formerly a Delta National Congress (DNC) member which later merged with other parties to form Peoples Democratic Party PDP
He became the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007
Supposedly, he got the job after using a fake ‘clean’ birth certificate he used to get houses in London because he had previous convictions which would not have allowed him to take office
Approx 6 months after his tenure, EFFC arrests the Urhobo man at Kwara State Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, for charges including theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering
These charges were brought by the previous government of President Obasanjo and anti-corruption czar Nuhu Ribadu
Ribadu alleged that Ibori bribed him to drop the charges with a cash gift of $15 million, which Ribadu immediately lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. The cash remains in the CBN as an exhibit.
Meanwhile in the UK…
In 2007, the London Met Police were building a case against Ibori: raiding his lawyer’s office – Bhadresh Gohil, arresting his wife – Theresa Nkoyo (who was later released without charge), his mistress – Udoamaka Okoronkwo, his P.A – Adebimpe Pogoson and sister – Christine Ibori-Ibie
Police allegedly found a wall behind a fireplace where computer hard drives containing details of a myriad off-shore companies were hidden, run for Ibori by Gohil
Bhadresh Gohil, fiduciary agent Daniel Benedict McCann, and corporate financier Lambertus De Boer were arrested and jailed for a total of 30 years
Back in Nigeria and fast-forward to 2009…
On December 17 2009, the 170 charges against Ibori by EFFC were thrown out of court making him a free man
EFFC appeals and in April 2010, under President Goodluck Jonathan, Ibori’s case is reopened with an alleged N40 billion ($266 million) embezzlement charges borrowed with Delta State as collateral
Ibori escapes to Dubai
…UK assists Nigeria to find, arrest and extradict Ibori to London
In May 2010, Ibori is nabbed by UK Met Police in Dubai working alongside Nigerian authorities to get him into the UK
In June 2010, Udoamaka Okoronkwo and Christine Ibori-Ibie are jailed for 5 years but serve around 2 years, Adebimpe was found not guilty
The prosecution alleged Ms Ibori-Ibie and Ms Onuigbo handled more than £14m on behalf of Mr Ibori between 1999 and 2006 when Delta enjoyed huge gains from highly priced oil
In Feb 2012, accused of stealing US$250 million from the Nigerian public purse, Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud
Ibori is jailed for 13 years but serves 5 years and released in Dec 2016
In January 2017, Ibori is freed from house arrests following allegations of UK police bribes
Back again in Nigeria
Following the guilty plea, the EFCC appeals Ibori’s 2009 acquittal with a three-man panel of justices at the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal on May 15, 2014 ruling that the ex- governor has a case to answer
This means judgement day may still await Ibori since he completed his sentence in London