Former governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori is poised to become a free man in December, after spending half of his jail term in prisons in the United Kingdom.
Ibori was jailed for money laundering offences by Southwark Crown Court in London, UK in 2012. As is normal under British procedures, Ibori is due to be released in December after serving half his sentence, taking into account pre-trial detention.
But, according to a Reuters report, it was not clear whether he will immediately return home because legal proceedings concerning the confiscation of his assets, worth tens of millions of dollars, were unresolved. They were supposed to have been resolved years ago, but have ground to a halt due to the allegations of police corruption and the prospect of Ibori taking his case to the Court of Appeal.
A London court was told on Friday that Ibori would appeal against his conviction on the grounds that British police and lawyers involved in his case were themselves corrupt.
Ibori, who as governor of oil-producing Delta State from 1999 to 2007 became one of Nigeria’s richest and most powerful men, is serving a 13-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering.