James Ibori Released From UUnitedKingdom Prison–Former Delta State Governor, James Onanefe Ibori has been released from United Kingdom prison after serving out half of his jail term.
Ibori had originally been due for release on 20th of December after serving half of his 13-year jail term, having entered into an agreement that he would want to be deported to his country, Nigeria.
He was jailed in 2012 after a protracted legal battle which alleged him to have been involved in a fraud of about £50million.
However, a concerted legal effort by the British Home Secretary, Amber Ruud who had made a make-shift attempt to keep him in prison was frustrated by the judge who ordered his immediate release.
it has been revealed that Amber Ruud had objected to Ibori’s release as she allegedly wanted Ibori to hand over to her office a sum of £18Million details of which remained unrevealed.
Observers, however are suspecting that the Home secretary may be looking for avenues for him to reimburse part of the total sum spent on his prosecution. A protracted legal battle for Ibori’s asset confiscation has been st in motion with about £90Billion asset which may be confiscated by the British government is already in court.
High Court Judge, Justice (Mrs) May in her submissions on Wednesday prior to Ibori’s release had described any attempt at further detaining him as extraordinary and ordered him to be released immediately.
Justice May also objected to an attempt to tag Ibori electronically and overruled the Home Office request that he should be subjected to curfew and movement gagging.
She overruled: ” You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient by your power to do so and more, since there is no plans yet to deport him back to his country”
The Home Office barrister had sought for Ibori’s further detention and continue monitoring because of his likelihood to frustrate a confiscation case currently holding on his matter. For this reason, the Home Office wanted him kept in jail or his movement subject to strict control through electronic tagging.
Ian Macdonald, representing Ibori said the Secretary of State had taken it upon himself to use its power even though there was no raised objection from the Crown Prosecution Service for his release.
Macdonald made a strong case for his release questioning the rationale behind the Home Office plan to further detain him or put his movement under strict control despite the court order making him a free man.
Last September, a review team that had been given the responsibility of investigating fraudulent and corrupt practices during Ibori’s trial allegedly been characterised by Police in sensational bribe and corruption deals had found out that the allegation against the Police was real and undeniable.
A material evidence was presented to support the claim of Police corrupt practices in the case and double standard dealings that implicated Police detectives investigating the case came to light.
James Ibori’s Barrister, Ivan Krolic on Wednesday had reiterated that the case against Ibori had been characterised by bribery and corruption.
The Appeal Court had even rejected after the Counsel to the Crown claimed there was nothing to support the allegation of corrupt practices by the Police.
However, Justice May ordering Ibori’s release said:” The Secretary of State appears to have taken it upon herself that Mr James Ibori does remain in this country in an apparent contradiction of an earlier order served that he should be deported.
She continued:” The position of the Secretary of the State candidly set by Mr Birdling on behalf of the Home Secretary is an argument that she has no further power to detain him.
I have decided that the balance of convenience falls heavily in favour of his immediate release. power to detain him
She added that she was not prepared for any condition of tagging or curfew imposition.
The confiscation case aginst him will be heard early next year.
Source: BEN TVNews