James Ibori Not Going To London Soon

Source: AUSTYN OGANNAH - thewillnigeria.com

San Francisco, Oct 15, (THEWILL) – THEWILL can authoritatively report that detained former Delta State governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori will not be heading to the United Kingdom or a London prison anytime soon even if a Dubai court okays the British government’s request for his extradition to London this Sunday, October 17, 2010.

THEWILL gathered from multiple sources who are conversant with the matter in Dubai that Ibori’s top flight lawyers both from the UAE and London will immediately appeal against Ibori’s extradition to London, that is, if the court delivers a judgement in favour of the British government.

We also gathered that the embattled former governor and his legal team are not taking any thing for granted having realized that this would be the former governor’s only opportunity to avoid prosecution in London for various financial crimes which he is being accused of.

High powered phone calls, emissaries and contacts are being made within government circles and politicians in the UAE, Nigeria and the United Kingdom to work out something positive for Ibori that would see him avoid a long jail term. It is however still unclear how much influence the back hand deals and negotiations going on will have on the Dubai court and government who have continued to hold Ibori in a prison cell pending the court’s decision.

THE former governor who has been receiving a lot of visitors (politicians, associates and friends) lately has however lost a lot of weight but remains in very high spirit. He is said to have the privilege of eating Nigerian dishes prepared by a Nigerian cook.

THEWILL also gathered that the Delta State government via cousin governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan has committed huge resources running into millions of dollars to ensure that Ibori does not end up in a London prison.

The strategy being deployed by the Ibori legal team is to throw in as many legal hurdles as possible to frustrate his extradition to London and subsequently, pursue political asylum in the Emirati.

Recall THEWILL exclusively broke the news of Chief James Ibori’s arrest in Dubai on May 12, 2010 having evaded Nigeria’s anti-graft agency arrest for alleged financial offences committed while he was governor of oil rich Delta State in the Niger Delta. The influential politician however told THEWILL in a telephone conversation that: ‘I am being persecuted for my political beliefs.’