James Onanefe Ibori, one of the most notorious actors in the former political dispensation of Ex- president Umaru Yar’Adua has been freed from Dubai prison, according to reliable sources.
Reports claimed he has been released on health ground as his health reportedly has deteriorated ever since his incarceration following international dubious economic deals in Nigeria and in Europe. He has been widely publicised by the British authorities as being wanted for fraud and money laundering.
As he was declared wanted on the eve of Yar’Adua’s death, the money bag political stakeholder slipped away through his village in Oghara, Delta state. Locals from the village staged demonstrations that he should be left alone as a loyal son of the community
After several months of incarceration in Dubai prison, it has been claimed that Ibori has been released on health ground due to bad heart condition and suffering from high blood pressure.
He was set free on Saturday morning from detention by a court in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
However, he is still being awaited by the British authority where he is to face corruption charges, based on money laundering and illegal money deal. His extradition process allegedly went through few months ago and the reason for the delay for his extradition still remains unclear.
His health was said th have deteriorated seriously while in detention, a condition that has been caused by his bad heart condition.
A senior government official confirmed the release of Mr Ibori. He however stated that the decision was purely that of the Dubai justice official. The official, who expressed shock at the news, however said the judgement of the Dubai court ‘does not have anything to do with the charges Ibori is facing here.’
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak, also said he did not believe Mr Ibori will return to Nigeria from Dubai. There has, however, been wild celebration in Oghara and parts of Delta State, where freedom parties are being arranged in honour of the former governor.