Ibori Awarded £1 By A London High Court

Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori has been awarded a nominal £1(about N400) as damages over his claim of unlawful detention by the British Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb agreed that Ibori, who spent years in a UK jail for money laundering, was unlawfully held for one day, 18 hours and 10 minutes between December 20 and 21 last year.
She, however, ruled, in a way that mocked Ibori’s claim, that he is only entitled to a nominal £1 of the sum.

Ibori had claimed £4,000 in damages.
She said the Home Secretary “failed to have regard to her limits to detain” as attempts were made to claw back millions from the fraudster.
But in rejecting Ibori’s bid for thousands in compensation, the judge ruled: “There is no compensatory loss to Mr Ibori and I fix nominal damages at £1.”


London Court Awards Former Delta State Governor £1 For Unlawful Detention

former Delta State Governor James Ibori, a former convict has won a London High Court declaration that he was unlawfully detained by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

But Ibori, who claimed £4,000 in damages for breaches of his human rights, is only entitled to a nominal £1, a judge ruled. Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, sitting in London, declared that Ibori was unlawfully held for one day, 18 hours and 10 minutes from December 20 to 21 last year, the Mail reported.

The judge said the Home Secretary “failed to have regard to her limits to detain” as attempts were made to claw back millions from the fraudster. Ibori, a former London DIY store cashier, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50m in April 2012.


He was only halfway through his 13-year sentence for fraud and money-laundering when he was released from prison last December. He has refused to give up the money he stole, and still owns a £2million three-bedroom apartment on Abbey Road in St John’s Wood, North London, opposite the recording studio used by the Beatles, according to the Mail.


In rejecting Ibori’s bid for thousands in compensation, the judge ruled: “There is no compensatory loss to Mr Ibori and I fix nominal damages at £1.” Ibori was extradited to the UK for trial in February 2012 and prosecuted on the basis of evidence from the Metropolitan Police.


He pleaded guilty to 10 serious criminal charges over the appropriation of massive amounts of public funds during his two terms as governor of Delta State. He was sentenced in April 2012 at Southwark Crown Court to 13 years imprisonment, and an order for his deportation as a foreign criminal was made in May 2015.


Having spent time in custody in the United Arab Emirates, he was due to be conditionally released from prison on December 20, 2016. But the Home Office indicated that there was no intention to deport Ibori to Nigeria until he handed over at least £57m “proceeds of crime”.


An email stated “we cannot deport Mr Ibori until the confiscation matter has been resolved”.


Home Secretary Amber Rudd had tried to keep Ibori locked up until he had handed back at least £18million of the proceeds of his crimes. But the High Court ruled this was an abuse of her powers, and ordered Ibori to be freed.


On December 21 last year, the day after his due release date, High Court Mrs Justice May ordered Ibori to be freed on conditions, describing the attempts to detain as “quite extraordinary”.


The judge 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 subject to strict curfew conditions was also rejected after the judge accepted arguments that the Home Secretary was attempting to misuse her immigration and deportation powers.


Ibori left the UK under his own steam on February 3, 2017, but also launched his claim for damages for false imprisonment and breach of his rights under the 1998 Human Rights Act not to be unlawfully detained.


Ruling yesterday that Ibori had been held unlawfully for almost two days, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said it followed a failure to hold effective confiscation proceedings. It was in the context of awaiting the making of an assets confiscation order, and likely subsequent efforts to “recoup” a sum estimated to be at least £57m, that the decision to detain Ibori was made.


The judge ruled: “In this case, the secretary of state has been wrong-footed by the failure of the prosecution to achieve determination of its confiscation proceedings against Mr Ibori prior to his release from prison on licence”.

Ibori Arrives Nigeria After Time in UK Prison

Former Delta State Governor, James Onanefe Ibori who regained his freedom from a UK prison, has arrived in Nigeria.

It was gathered that he arrived Abuja on Saturday morning and he heafed to his hometown, Oghara in Delta State.

James Ibori had, on Friday, appeared before a Southwark Crown court in London for his asset forfeiture hearing.

Jibrin Accuses Dogara Of Collecting $600,000 From Ibori

Suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, yesterday challenged House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara to publicly acknowledge the funding of his emergence as Speaker by former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.

Jibrin, in a statement, alleged that Dogara collected $600,000 from ex-convict Ibori to realise his speakership ambition.

Jibrin had said: “It is such a shame that Speaker Dogara denied the fact that former Governor James Ibori provided huge support to his emergence as Speaker by mobilising members from Delta State and some from the Southsouth and Southeast to support him.

“Since he has disowned Ibori, he should at least have the honour to return the $600,000 Ibori donated to his speakership campaign. I am sure he cannot deny the fact that he collected that money cash!

“We have secured funding from two reputable international organisation to establish an online platform that will serve as a central point to disseminate budget fraud and corruption acts and publish evidence and also hold lecture series and sensitization programs on budget fraud and corruption across the country.

“Our first event will hold in Kano on 9th January 2017 with 5000 youths across the country in attendance. Our anti corruption crusade with be ruthless in 2017.

“I remain very proud that despite the organised witch hunt against me using the institution of the house they have not been able to establish any offense that I have committed during the course of discharging my duties in the 5 years I have spent in the house.

“It is noteworthy that no member of the house has formally accused me of corruption or abuse of office as I have consistently done against the Speaker and others.

“I have said repeatedly that I will remain committed to this fight against budget fraud and corruption for the rest of my life even if iam alone. It is a commitment iam ready to die for!”

Jibrin was suspended by the House for bringing the institution into disrepute by his allegations of budget padding against some Principal Officers of the House and nine Committee Chairmen.

But in a swift reaction, Dogara denied the allegation, saying he has no affinity with the former governor.

Speaking though his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the speaker said:”For the records, we want to state that the Rt. Hon. Speaker was elected by the votes of members of the House of Representatives.

here may well be silent supporters and well wishers of the Honourable Speaker from far and near some of whom he may not be aware of.

“Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara does not have a relationship, political or otherwise with formers Governor James Ibori of Delta state to warrant the insinuations in the statement credited to Senator Nwaboshi, and had never had one.”

Delta Paid Ibori N250m in UK Prison – Investigation

The Delta State Government paid former Governor James Ibori N250m while he was in jail in the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2016,an  investigation has revealed.

It will be recalled that Ibori was convicted on February 27 2012, after pleading guilty to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at a Southwark Crown Court, London.

It was learnt that Ibori, who was accused of stealing over £250m, was entitled to life pension being a former governor of the oil-rich state.

The ex-governor, who served between 1999 and 2007, was able to sign into law the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 which was later amended in 2009.

The law makes provision for an ex-governor to be paid N50m per year among other perks.

Defending the payment of the money to Ibori in 2012, the then Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ohgeah, said Ibori would continue to be paid N50m until a court nullified his tenure in office.

Ogeah said this in reaction to an affidavit deposed to by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which accused the state government of enriching the ex-governor.

He said, “The truth is that like every other elected governor who had served the state, Ibori was paid his pension entitlement and other benefits alongside his deputy under existing law. The law is the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 and the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits (Amendment) Law 2009.”

Calculations by one of our correspondents showed that for the five years Ibori spent in the UK prison, he was paid N250m by the state government.

Delta State is one of the states in the country currently struggling to pay salaries and which received bailout fund from the Federal Government.

According to a report on the bailout funds monitoring of states conducted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, in February 2016, Delta State had N36, 417,217, 601.53 as total debt value accrued from staff salaries and emoluments. The state was granted N10, 936, 799, 299 as bailout fund from the Federal Government.

Speaking with one of our correspondents on Saturday, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), said the matter was a structural problem and it would be unfair to single out Ibori.

Falana explained that several states including those who could not pay salaries, were paying pensions to ex-governors who had also looted their state treasuries.

He said, “The matter goes beyond Ibori because he is not the only ex-governor collecting the pension. The law in Delta State does not say an ex-governor should stop receiving pay if he is convicted.

“The matter shows the failure of the Nigerian system. I am not defending Ibori but I don’t think he should be singled out. Pension for ex-governors should be scrapped completely.”

Meanwhile, the Delta State Government on Saturday said it was legal for it to honour the laws of the state by paying severance packages and other entitlements ascribed to former governors and deputies including Ibori.

The state government said it would be flouting the law if it decided not to pay the former governor.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said on Saturday that if the state government was owing Ibori his severance package, the government would clear the backlogs as clearly stipulated by law.

“If Ibori is entitled to pension by law, we will not take it away from him because that will be breaching the law . Even if he is owed, it is sure that he deserves the entitlements.’’

He also added that Ibori contributed meaningfully to the infrastructural development of the state and laid the foundation upon which successive governments were building on.

Source: The Punch

Ex-Convict, James Ibori Made Me A Senator From Prison – Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi

In a video that has gone viral on social media, senator representing Delta North Senatorial district, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi has revealed how convicted serial thief, former governor James Ibori who was yesterday released form a London prison made him a senator of the federal republic of Nigeria.

Sen. Nwaoboshi who had traveled to London to receive his political mention from prison also revealed how the convict made his daughter, Erhiatake Ibori a legislator in the state house of Assembly representing Ethiope West state constituency.

In the viral video, the senator was seen boosting how Ibori allegedly supported Sen. Bukola Saraki to emerge Nigeria’s Senate President and chairman of the National Assembly. Peter also alleged, Ibori singlehandedly installed speaker of the National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, who was released from the UK prison where he has spent four years and eight months serving a 10-year jail term for money laundering and other offences is due to return back to Nigeria.

Ibori, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party and former governor of Delta State (1999-2007) was jailed in April 2012, for 13 years by the Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud almost to the tune of £50 million. He was also accused in February 2012 of stealing $250m from the Delta State public purse.

Upon his release, some citizens of the state took to the streets to celebrate the man they call “Odidigborigbo.” In parts of Asaba: Nnebisi Road, Summit Junction, Okpanam Road and Anwai Road and the popular Ogbeogonogo Market, women youths and some security operatives sang in jubilation.

The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Peter Mrakpor, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, described Ibori’s release as a welcome development. “I’m particularly grateful and hope that the Federal Government would grant him state pardon.” he said.

A lawyer in Asaba, Barr. Lawrence Egodike, also appealed to Federal Government to grant the former governor state pardon, adding that the ex-governor contributed immensely to the development of the state.

Alamieyeseigha Finally Laid To Rest

Tears flowed freely, yesterday, as the first civilian governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was laid to rest at his Amassoma country home in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan led prominent Nigerians, including his wife, Patience; Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Alli Modu Sheriff; Acting BoT Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Jibril Aminu; Senator Godswill Akpabio; Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; a former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido; and a former governor of Taraba State, Rev Jolly Nyame, to the ceremony.

Others include former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, Senator James Manager, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Professor Kimse Koko,Prof Lawrence Ekpebu, Senator Ibrahim Mantu,

Chief Uche Secondus, deputy governor of Delta State Amos Utuaro and his Nassarawa State counterpart.

A major highlight of the funeral was the reading of the emotion-laden latter of a former Delta State governor, James Ibori, to the Alamieyeseighas.

Jonathan, in his remarks, described death as a necessary end that will come, adding that the circumstances surrounding Alamieyeseigha’s death left a bitter taste in the months of Ijaw people.

EFCC May Probe Nigerians Indicted In Panama Papers Scandal

There were strong indications yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may probe Nigerians associated with secret offshore companies.

Apart from Senate President Bukola Saraki, others mentioned in the secret leak that has been generating worldwide ripples are: Former Senate President David Mark, Saraki’s wife, Toyin, former Delta State Governor James Ibori, Mr. Laolu Saraki, Mr. Obi Asika and Mr. Olufela Ibidapo.

Yesterday, former Defence Minister Gen. Yakubu Danjuma’s name was linked with some firms.

According to a top EFCC source, the EFCC has already obtained a copy of the Panama Papers, which its operatives are studying.

The source said: “We are studying all the documents and definitely we will investigate the allegations against all the Nigerians implicated in the Panama Papers.

“These allegations may lead to further clues on whether or not public funds were used in acquiring some of these secret assets.

The Panamanian law firm, reputed as one of the most secretive companies in the world, had helped clients to register offshore entities, some of which are then used to launder money, evade tax and dodge sanctions.

Gen. Danjuma, the wealthy philanthropist and one-time Defence minister, according to the Mossac Fonseca files, floated Eastcoast Investments, which he incorporated in Nassau, Bahamas, on March 25, 1997.

At inception, Gen. Danjuma and a certain Colin Marcel Dixon were directors of the company.

According to Premium Times, Gen. Danjuma formed the company to enable him do business with Scancem International of Norway when the latter decided to expand its business frontiers to Nigeria.

But the company became embroiled in a bribery scandal, with Scancem, according to court papers, later buying out Eastcoast Investment from the project on December 1, 2003.

Gen. Danjuma reportedly resigned as director of the company.

He is also reported to have used other offshore entities.

The database, Opencorporates, indicate that the ex-minister. served as director and vice-president of Cross Group Holdings International, which was registered in Panama on October 15, 1976.

Gen. Danjuma was also director of Zara Logistics, a company registered in Cyprus on September 2, 1993.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday. Sources close to him said he is out of the country.

Also, Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss attorney hired by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to track missing Abacha loot in Swiss banks is himself operating over 178 companies in offshore tax havens.

Mr. Monfrini was hired in 2000 by the government to help establish the existence of and repatriate over $4 billion allegedly looted by the former military dictator.

The documents showed that Mr. Monfrini, an influential legal practitioner in Switzerland, is director of 178 companies scattered around Panama and the British Virgin Islands.

Although the documents did not directly implicate Mr. Monfrini as having committed any crime, still, the revelation points to the hypocrisy of a man widely revered for his remarkable ability to dismantle tax evaders and looters across jurisdictions.

James Ibori Never Left His Prison Cell – Media Aide

Tony Eluemunor, the media aide to embattled former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is currently serving a jail term in a UK prison, says his boss was neither released nor rearrested by the UK authorities.

There were reports Wednesday that Mr. Ibori was released from prison and rearrested immediately.

The statement said, “The Chief James Onanefe Ibori Media Office hereby informs Ibori’s teaming supporters that the news about the release of their champion and political leader from prison is not true.

“This news had set off a frenzy of activities in the entire South-South geo-political zone, as many people took off from their respective towns and villages to storm Ibori’s home town of Oghara.

“Many kept vigil at his gate; but the vigil was in vain as Ibori has not finished serving his term.

“Perhaps as the magnitude of the lie The News on-line publication told to itself and the nation (in a story it had termed an exclusive) dawned on it, its sister publication, PM News kicked in with another lie; that Ibori had been re-arrested.

“This caused a sleepless night to another set of Ibori’s supporters as they stayed up all night working the phone to find out the true situation.

“The truth is that the exclusive stories published by The News and PM news were exclusive lies. Over 24 hours after the publications, no British authority has confirmed either the news of the release or of the purported re-arrest.

“Many people have asked me how such a malicious story could have been cocked up. My only reply is that Ibori’s political and legal persecutors tried to counter the favourable wind that arose from Ibori’s corner when the case turned against the London Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecutors by late January 2016, when even they agreed that they were corrupt in the way they investigated Ibori and his associates.

“That forced them to withdraw the obstructing the cause of justice charges they had brought against one of Ibori’s lawyers, Mr. Bradesh Gohil.

“Most importantly, the judge that day ruled that all the documents that had been withheld from Ibori and all his associates should be turned over to them and that they were free to go on appeal to challenge even their earlier convictions.

“It was this ray of hope that even Ibori’s conviction may be struck down that the media manipulators attempted to extinguish in the hearts and minds of Ibori’s supporters when they concocted their lies and passed same off as news.

”To prove that the case has turned and the hunters may be feeling the heat, respected British news media such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Times of London and the Guardian of London, last week announced that calls have arisen that Ibori’s and his associates’ accusations of corruption against the prosecution be investigated.

“The New Indian Express of Monday 25 January 2016 reported that “In representations to the judge, Stephen Kamlish, Gohil’s defence team accused the Crown Prosecution Service of “positively misleading the court and the parties as part of their deliberate cover-up of discloseable material”.

“In response, the Judge Tester said, “The crown has offered no evidence for one or both of the following reasons. One, that the allegations of corruption made by Mr Gohil are true, and not false. The second is that the crown has suppressed material both in this court and in other proceedings, including the trial of Ibori.

“The crown offering no evidence can only mean the crown is not prepared themselves to explain their decision, either for the abuse of the court in bad faith or for the police corruption. In those circumstance, it is our duty to our client to raise these matters and this brings into question the safety of these convictions.

“The Indian Express continued: “A Met police intelligence report seen by this paper (The Indian Express) suggests an RISC employee telephoned a police officer working on the Ibori investigation in 2007 and allegedly told him his inquiries were “on the right track”. Separate documents shown to Gohil’s defence team are said to reveal the existence of 19 cash deposits into the same officer’s bank account. The CPS had allegedly denied the existence of the documents.

“It is an incontrovertible fact that the confiscation hearing has not started at all, and remains months away into the future.

“Even today, that remains the case as nothing has changed. The confiscation hearing has not started and nobody, whether Ibori or another person, has been arrested as there is really no need to arrest anyone because of a confiscation hearing”.

James Ibori Released From UK Prison

Former governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori has completed his prison terms in the United Kingdom. But he is yet to be a free man, as he was immediately re-arrested.

TheNEWS learnt that Ibori jailed 13 years in April 2012 by a Southwark Crown court in London was released by prison authorities on 22 January.

He was released from Her Majesty’s Prison in Bedford, outside of London, where he finished his prison term. He was also initially at the Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire.

“He is out of here”, a prison source at Bedford confirmed on Tuesday night.

Our sources said Ibori was 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 initially billed for May, will now come up in June, sources told us this afternoon.

We cannot however confirm Ibori’s new prison.

Fifty-seven year old 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.

He had earlier made a mockery of Nigeria’s legal system, walking away free from the multi-billion fraud charge levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, including the $15 million bribe he offered the then EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu.

Ibori’s case and extradition became one of the longest, most complex and expensive operations mounted by Scotland Yard in recent years.

Prosecutors alleged that companies owned by Ibori and his family were beneficiaries from the sale of state assets, including shares in Econet, a GSM telephone operator, as well as crude oil deliveries.

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. Among possessions confiscated were a house in Hampstead, north London, for £2.2million, a property in Shaftesbury, Dorset for £311,000, A £3.2m 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 bought for €407,000 cash, that was shipped direct to his mansion in South Africa

After the sentencing hearing, Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service central fraud group, said it would bid to confiscate the assets Ibori had acquired his riches “at the expense of the some of the poorest people in the world.

Also jailed with him apart from his sister and mistress were his wife, Theresa Nkoyo Ibori, his lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil and his financial advisors, Daniel McCann and Lambertus De Boer.

While in prison, Ibori continued to exercise a lot of influence on the politics of his Delta state, with the present governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, regarded as one of his disciples.

Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, two term governor of the state, who succeeded him in 2007 is his uncle.

Born in Oghara, 57 years ago, the young James Onanefe Ibori was educated at Baptist High school, now Oghareki Grammar School. From there, he went to the University of Benin, where he studied economics and statistics. After his university education, he moved to the United Kingdom, where he worked at Wickes DIY, married his wife, Theresa and tainted his record with two convictions for theft and credit card fraud, that were to later haunt his political career in Nigeria.

He became governor of Delta state in 1999 and held forte for eight years.