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.