Former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, was released on 22 January 2016, having completed his prison terms in the United Kingdom, but thereafter arrested again.
In April 2012, the 66-year old member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was sentenced to 13 years by Southwark Crown Court for several crimes regarding confiscation of the following possessions:
- A house in Hampstead, north London, for £2.2million.
- A property in Shaftesbury, Dorset, for £311,000.
- A £3.2million mansion in Sandton, near Johannesburg, South Africa
- A fleet of armoured Range Rovers valued at £600,000
- A £120,000 Bentley Continental GT
- A Mercedes-Benz Maybach 62 bought for €407,000 cash, that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa
After the hearing of the sentence, Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service central fraud group, said it would bid to confiscate the assets Ibori had acquired “at the expense of the some of the poorest people in the world.”
Just after his release from Her Majesty’s Prison in Bedford, he has been re-arrested to face another charge, which borders on the confiscation of his ill-gotten assets, estimated to be about 250 million pounds. The case which was initially scheduled for May, has been postponed to June this year. Till then he has been kept in a new prison, whose location has not been confirmed at the time of this publication.
James Ibori was jailed for using UK financial institutions to launder hundreds of millions of pound sterling he stole from public funds in Delta State. His journey to jail began with his arrest On 13 May 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates under Interpol arrest warrants, issued from United Kingdom courts and enacted by the Metropolitan Police.
Before his conviction, UK juries two years earlier found James Ibori’s sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori and his mistress, Udoamaka Okoronkwo, guilty on counts of money laundering, in a verdict delivered at the Southwark Crown Court, London. On 27 February 2012, Ibori himself was docked, accused of stealing US$250 million from the Nigerian public purse. He pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. Also jailed with him apart from his sister and mistress were his wife, Theresa Nkoyo Ibori, his lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil and his financial advisers, Daniel McCann and Lambertus De Boer.