UK court orders convicted Nigerian ex-governor to repay £130m

uk court orders convicted nigerian ex governor to repay ps130m

A UK court on Monday ordered a former Nigerian politician and his criminal associates to repay £130 million ($167 million) that he looted while governor of Delta State.

James Ibori, the flamboyant governor of the oil-rich state in southern Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, was jailed in Britain in 2012 for money laundering and fraud following a Metropolitan Police operation.

Financial investigators from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) then started confiscation proceedings.

They argued that Ibori had amassed a criminal fortune of almost £116 million, and the judge at a confiscation hearing in London’s Southwark Crown Court on Monday ordered him to repay £101,514,315.21.

His UK based solicitor Badresh Babulal Gohil was ordered to repay £28,191,787.15.

Ibori will receive an eight-year jail term if he doesn’t comply, while Gohil has six months to repay or face a further six years in prison.

The landmark corruption case led to a deal signed by Nigeria and Britain on repatriating the money.

The deal stipulates that Nigeria will use the funds to finance vital infrastructure projects.

“This confiscation order demonstrates our determination to pursue criminally obtained assets that have been invested in the UK,” NCA Branch Commander Suzanne Foster said in a statement.

“Ibori was powerful and influential, but he was not above the law. Now the life he built from criminal enterprises has been taken from him,” she added.

Ibori, a one-time cashier at a chain of British DIY stores, used public funds to buy luxury homes, top-of-the-range cars and a private jet.

Investigators focussed on the fraudulent sale and purchase of shares in Ibori’s mobile phone company to Nigeria’s Delta State and Akwa Ibom State.

He fled to Dubai in 2010 but was extradited to Britain, where he was sentenced and served four years of a 13-year jail term. He was released in December 2016.

Authored by Afp via Breitbart July 24th 2023