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Extradition to UK: Ibori's defense in disarray, in deep depression, as Dubai Court set to rule next week...May stall extradition on health grounds

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James Ibori
The defense team of Ex Delta Governor, James Onanefe Ibori is in total disarray, as the ex Delta helmsman is said to have gone into deep depression, with his blood pressure hitting the roof. There are also indications that his defense team may use his health to stall an eventual removal from Dubai to London to face a cocktail of money laundering charges. sources hinted that as the Dubai Court of Appeal is set to rule next week, Ibori's defense team seems to have run out of options, as all their strategy appears to be falling to pieces.

According to our source, Ibori's team had built their defense on two blocks: claim of political persecution by the Nigeria Government, and the Federal High Court, Asaba,(presided over by Marcel Awokulehin), dismissal of the 170-count charge of corruption brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). The last option was seek asylum based on the first.

Ibori's team had also tried to find a way round the Extradition Treaty. The UAE would have refused the extradition request on any of the grounds for mandatory refusal stated in Article 4(1) of the Treaty, or any of the two discretionary grounds for refusal under Article 4(2). It appears that only three of the grounds for refusal – two under mandatory refusal and one under discretionary refusal - may apply to his situation. First, the request for extradition would have been refused if the UAE lower court had substantial grounds for believing that that request for Ibori's extradition has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political opinions, sex or status.

Second, there may be refusal of the extradition request if Ibori can show that he has been tried and convicted or acquitted by a final judgment in either State or in a third state of the offence for which extradition is requested. Third, the request for extradition may be refused if Ibori has been granted political asylum by the UAE. Ibori did not meet any of the grounds for the refusal of the extradition request.

.Also, Ibori had been assured by his team that his wife, Nkoyo, who was jailed for five years recently in London, would get off the hook. According to the source, “ even though his mistress, Udoamaka Okonkwo, and his sister, Christine Ibie had been convicted, his team assured him that Nkoyo's conviction was the only one that could put his Dubai legal battle in jeopardy. So the conviction of Nkoyo turned everything upside down” further learnt that the three convictions, a lorry load of evidence of laundered money presented by the EFCC, the deluge of eveidence presented by the Metropolitan Police, and the ruling by the Court of first Instance in Dubai that Ibori be extradited, threw spanner in the works and has made his appeal a mere formality.

Said our source “ by next week Ibori will know his faith, but it is very certain that his defense has run out of options. They only filled the appeal to buy him time. His health dipped after Nkoyo's conviction, and right now his health is not very good. They may want to stall his removal on health grounds.”


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