Ibori: ‘Ex-governor was released unconditionally,’ Aide says
Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori was released on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, following a court order to that effect.
An aide to former Delta State Governor, James Ibori has said that he was released from a United Kingdom (UK) prison unconditionally.
Ibori was released on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, following a court order to that effect.
“He was released unconditionally by the court, I have been monitoring the situation in the UK through his lawyers,” the aide, Sunny Areh told The Sun.
“That case was on before now, it was a different trial. But it has nothing to do with the present release because even the judge handling that case had declared that there was no evidence that his property was acquired by stolen fund.
“That case also led to the earlier freezing of his account by the court but like I said, there is no evidence to show that his personal properties were acquired with public fund.
“So as I speak with you, Ibori is a free man. When eventually they re-open the confiscation case, he does not need to present during court proceedings but his lawyers will be in court.
“His travel documents must have expired by now. He needs time to renew the documents and perfect his plan to return back home. So it’s going to take some time before his coming to Nigeria,” he added.
Ibori was jailed on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by the Southwark Crown Court of the United Kingdom after pleading guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
He was arrested in Dubai on May 13, 2010, on an international warrant after being declared wanted by the UK Metropolitan Police.
Ibori was subsequently extradited to the UK in April 2011, and tried on 23 counts of money laundering, forgery, and fraud.
He was accused of laundering more than $200 million but he only admitted to taking $50 million.
Ibori’s sentence was commuted to six and a half years and further reduced to four and a half years after the 645 days he had already spent in detention was taken into account.
News of his impending return has caused excitement in his hometown of Oghara in Delta State where he is known as the “Odidigborigbo of Africa.”