Ex-Delta state governor James Ibori pleads guilty to money laundering and fraud

Former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, 54, today plead guilty before Southwark Crown Court in London for fraud and money laundering charges.

Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud, money laundering and corruption charges before judge Anthony Pitts.

British authorities accuse him of stealing about $250million over eight years.

The prosecutor called him a “thief in government house”

Ibori was arrested in 2007, he was freed shortly after before being re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant in 2010 and then extradited to the UK.

A UK in court in 2007 froze assets allegedly belonging to Ibori worth about $35m.

Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had “tricked” his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record.

“He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state’s wealth and hand out patronage.”

“The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori’s lavish lifestyle,” Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

“We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State.”

He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

Ibori has been convicted in the UK before – in 1991 for stealing, in cahoots with his wife who worked as a cashier, from the Neasden, London, branch of the DIY shop Wickes.

He was also found guilty in 1992 for being in possession of a stolen credit card and having used it to fraudulently take out $1,590.

James Ibori’s wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering.

He is to be sentenced on 16 April.

6 Comments

  • This is actually law at work. But on this case of ibori, i will say the Nigeria law is a mess, and our lawyers are bunch of thieves, because this same ibori was freed of all these charges in the nigerian court, when he had a case with Great Agboru over election issues. the Nigerian court then, said this same ibori was not ever convicted in UK and has never been to jail in his life before, even when the facts were clear for even the blind to see.
    But as for Ibori as a person though he has some bad antesedents, People still consider him the best governent the state has had since democracy.
    The question now is, if a man that is this corrupt is still the best, it stands to reason that Delta State is not yet Uhuru.

  • Ibori really have 2 pay 4 all this disgrace he have brought upon our country
    And 2 me even though he is been granted freedom after is jail term in uk,
    He should never be allowed 2 come back 2 delta state…..refugee camp is where people like this are suppose to be.

  • We it’s a shame sometimes to be a Nigerian! with people like Ibori damaging himself & that of people from Delta State & now the humble people of Oghara. As a prince the Son of late Ovie of Oghara. I think Ibori is a shame to Oghara people & he should suffer for misusing money that can safe lives of Children & creat Jobs.

  • What a big mess. Our leaders are always the one diminishing d name of our country. What does he want to do wit all those huge amount of money? He should b sentenced wit hard labour as he has caused to d pple of d state. I hpe all his wealth would b freezed en nt even a pin left so he and his family can see d other part of life if at all there come out of prison alive. But please take note. Only Gods kindom can change d sofferin on earth.

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