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EFCC locates Ibori's mansion in Lekki, Lagos

By The Citizen
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday said it had located a mansion belonging to a former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, in an upscale area of Lagos.

The commission said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren, that the property was discovered on Thursday at No. 5, Alpha Beach Road, Lekki in Lagos by its operatives.

Ibori was convicted on April 18, 2012 by a United Kingdom crown court and sentenced to a13-year jail term for corruption and money laundering.

The EFCC said the property 'is suspected to be one of the proceeds of money laundering for which the ex-governor was convicted in the UK.

'The attachment of the property is the fallout of continued efforts by the anti- graft agency to trace, find and seize properties that were acquired with stolen funds by the former governor.

'The property is a mansion with a mini reception at the ground floor and a detached 'Boys Quarters'.

'Two occupants of the house, Moses Abu and Kaycee Kasim, were interrogated and made useful statements.'

According to pictures released by the commission, the house also has a swimming pool.

Items recovered from the house include sewing machines, mannequins and other personal effects.

They were all packed in cartons and sealed by EFCC operatives before being moved to its office in Lagos.

This is the latest property owned by Ibori which has located and attached.

In July 2012, the United States Department of Justice secured a restraining order against more than $3m looted funds and a mansion in Houston, Texas, U.S owned by Ibori.

The department got the powers through an application filed under seal on May 16, 2012, in a U.S District Court in the District of Columbia, to register and enforce two orders from United Kingdom courts against more than $3m in corruption proceeds related to Ibori.

This was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton in a statement on the U.SDOJ website.

'The application, which was filed under seal on May 16, 2012, in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, seeks to restrain assets belonging to Governor Ibori and Bhadresh Gohil, Ibori's former English solicitor, that are proceeds of corruption.

'Specifically, it seeks to restrain a mansion in Houston and two Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts. U.S District Judge Lamberth granted the application and issued a restraining order under seal on May 21, 2012.

'The department was notified today that its application to unseal the restraining order was granted.

'The United States is working with the United Kingdom's Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police Service to forfeit these corruption proceeds,' it said.