James Ibori charged for fraud and money laundering in London court

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James Ibori: Finally in London

Former Delta State James Onanefe Ibori has now been formerly charged to court in London.

The 48 year old was charged on Saturday accused of fraudulent practices including money laundering and conspiracy at the City of Westminster’s magistrate court.

The two-time Delta State governor, who was extradited to the United Kingdom early on Friday from his self exiled haven in the United Arabs Emirate, was charged with 25 counts of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, but only one of the charges was read in court today.

Ibori’s lawyer, Jonathan Akinsanya, who appeared briefly to hear the charges did not apply for bail.

Ibori is now being remanded in Wandsworth Prison in London.

His next appearance will be on April 28th, 2011 at the Southwark Crown Court, the same venue where his accomplices were tried for similar offices. They got five years each.

He was finally extradited to United Kingdom on Friday after the former governor left his recently abode, a n hospital where he had been receiving treatment for a rare heart conditions.

London Metropolitan police was handy to make real their promise of bringing him to books in the united Kingdom following series of criminal activities ranging from money laundering and petty crimes committed while living in London many years ago.

He had taken ill about three weeks and was admitted to a Dubai heart hospital. His legal teams in recent times had been frustrated as attempts to let him off had been unsuccessful through series of legal applications.

One of such legal citation was that the crime comitted was not on Arab land and that he was a victim of political revenge and therefore should be let off

United Arab Emirates authority however collided in legal warfare with the British Metropolitan police as the later fought for Ibori’s exradition with reasons of criminal puzzles to answer awaiting him in the Queens land.

However through a series of complex legal manipulations adopted by his numerous legal luminaries in the United Arab Emirates, the issues of his exradition had been dragged until now.

One of Ibori's accomplices now in jail.
Ibori was re-arrested last night in his Dubai mansion following his discharge from hospital early in the week and taken to an extradition processing center from where he was later flown to the UK. He was expected to arrive in London at about 1:00p.m. local time.

The former governor was accompanied by officers of the UK Metropolitan police Proceeds of Crimes Unit while his London lawyers are dusting their files for a major legal war to save his face and avoid him a long jail sentence. Police sources claimed that destination of avoiding long jail term may be a mirage especially with many of his co-conspirators already languishing in UK jail.

They include including his wife, Theresa; his sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori; and a mistress, Udoamaka-Okoronkwo (nee Onuigbo), who are already spending prison terms in various jail houses in the UK.

Just over a week ago, on April 1, his UK lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was given a 10-year sentence. The sentence will run concurrently with a previous seven-year conviction.

Ibori’s extradition was finally granted in December 2010 by the Court of Cessation in Dubai, but with the aid of Nigerian officials, he made a series of attempts to escape from the UAE.

Ibori’s extradition marks a curious return to the scene of his earliest recorded crimes. As a worker in London, he was twice convicted for two criminal offences before he returned to Nigeria and went into the business full time as a politician.

“In a country where impunity has taken the place of justice, Ibori’s extradition from a foreign country to another is at once a description of the sadness of our past, a critical comment on our present and a warning about the future.”

James Ibori is accused of stealing $290 million from state coffers while he was in office and channeling it to bank accounts in Britain.

British officials announced Friday that Ibori has been extradited and is in police custody in London.

Addition: SR