Friday, January 15, 2016

Ibori set to Return From UK prison, As Governor okowa & Others prepare to welcome Him

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other associates of convicted Big Thief, James Ibori, are said to be preparing for his release from prison in London, the United Kingdom (UK) in 2016.

Ibori was jailed 13 years in 2012, two years after his arrest by the Interpol in Dubai, in 2010, where he was hiding after fleeing Nigeria under the watch of security agencies.

Despite several allegations of corruption, his trial and jail, James Ibori still enjoys support of a section of the state, particularly some corrupt politicians who benefited from him.

An investigation by The Nation indicates he may be sent to Nigeria this year, maybe to stay in Kirikiri.

It was gathered that his friends, beneficiaries and supporters had begun moves to resuscitate his businesses and investments across the country to reintegrate him into the “system”.

His “enormous fortunes”, allegedly stolen from Delta state, was said to have been reduced after he left office in 2007 with the seizure of some of his property and cash by foreign governments.

In April 2012, at his conviction hearing, the UK Crown Prosecution Services justified the confiscation of Ibori’s property in London and South Africa worth over £6.4 million, which were allegedly purchased “at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world”.

Investigations revealed that his key allies and supporters in prominent political positions were preparing to resuscitate his businesses.

Governor Okowa of Delta State, who was part of Ibori’s eight-year government, is said to be in constant touch with him through intermediaries regularly sent to the prison where he is held in UK.
A close source revealed that from his prison cell, “Ibori was instrumental to Okowa’s emergence as the candidate of the PDP as well as victory in the April governorship election. The governor is only showing his gratitude by giving Ibori’s allies key positions in his State Executive Council (Exco).

“Ms Erhiatake (‘Take) Ibori, daughter of the former governor, a first-time member of the House of Assembly, stunned political analysts when she emerged the chairman of the influential House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

“The Managing Director of DESOPADEC, Chief Williams Makinde, is a protégé of the former governor, who was instrumental to his emergence as DESOPADEC’s chief. Apart from being from Ibori’s clan, their relationship runs deep and it was Ibori who single - handedly made Makinde the National Treasurer of the PDP.”

Makinde was recently accused to using DESOPADEC to give N350m to a near-comatose newspaper owned by the former governor who is now a convicted criminal.

The EFCC is reportedly planning to appeal Ibori's controversial acquittal by an Asaba Court in 2009.

Shortly before he fled Nigeria in 2010, the EFCC had reopened investigation into allegations that Ibori used the state as security to borrow N40billion. Nigerian political leaders keep sharing our money.

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