Former Delta state governor, James Ibori, who was released from a UK prison yesterday is still not free indeed as he still has to face a deportation hearing and then also pay the UK government the sum of £18 million (N7,016.86 million) as “proceeds of crime” before he can be allowed to return to Nigeria.
The deportation hearing is scheduled for January 2017 and the former governor is expected to be visiting the Croydon Police Station regularly before his final appearance in court in 2017.
The unresolved issues almost elongated Ibori’s incarceration, until a high court judge gave an order he should be released and that attempts to detain him were “quite extraordinary.”
Ordering Ibori to be immediately freed from prison, Justice Mrs. May said: “You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient to do so and without plans to deport them.”
A Home Office application that Ibori be electronically tagged and subjected to strict curfew conditions was also rejected.
Ibori, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50 million in April 2012. He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police but was arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK, where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police.
Upon the completion of his confiscation trial in London, Ibori will likely face further trial in Nigeria.
Punch reported that the Federal Government has commenced the process of extraditing Ibori from the United Kingdom.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to forward the file containing the 170 charges earlier brought against him in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in Ibori’s hometown of Oghara, in Delta state, residents were eager to receive him back home.