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Ibori re-arrested after release from jail term in London

By The Rainbow
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The former Delta State governor, James Onanefe Ibori, gained a momentary freedom on Wednesday as he was rearrested shortly after  regaining freedom from a London prison.

Ibori,  who was sentenced in April 2012  by a Southwark Crown court in London in the United Kingdom, was released after completing his jail term in a London hospital.

Ibori was reportedly re-arrested to face another charge which borders on the confiscation of his ill-gotten assets, estimated to be about 250 million pounds as sources confirmed that the case initially billed for May, will now come up in June.

Ibori, 57, had been jailed for using UK financial institutions to misappropriate hundreds of millions of pound sterling he stole from public funds in Delta state and his journey to jail began with his arrest on May 13, 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He was nabbed under Interpol arrest warrants issued from United Kingdom courts and enacted by the Metropolitan Police.

He reportedly completed his prison terms and was released by prison authorities on January 22.

He finished his prison term at Her Majesty's Prison in Bedford, outside of London, after initially being held at the Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire.

A prison source at Bedford confirmed Tuesday night that, “He is out of here.” but his new destination is yet to be confirmed.

Ibori was reportedly re-arrested to face another charge which borders on the confiscation of his ill-gotten assets, estimated to be about 250 million pounds as sources confirmed that the case initially billed for May, will now come up in June.

Ibori, 57, had been jailed for using UK financial institutions to misappropriate hundreds of millions of pound sterling he stole from public funds in Delta state and his journey to jail began with his arrest on May 13, 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He was nabbed 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.But  PM News reports that a

Ibori also recently reacted to claims by Abubakar Malami, Nigeria's minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation (AGF) that the federal government will soon recover £6.9 million stolen funds frittered away by him.

In a statement issued on his behalf by Tony Eluemunr, his media aide, Ibori said: “There is no Ibori loot anywhere in the world. Such money, whether in British pounds, American dollars or the Nigerian naira just does not exist. This is because the Ibori London trial is not yet over.

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