Hall of Shame: Ibori, a convicted thief in London, a two-time governor later returned to UK prison
James Ibori the son of late Chief Ukavbe and Mrs Comfort Oji Ibori of Otefe in Oghara Clan, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. He graduated from the University of Benin with Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics. Ibori later left Nigeria for the UK.
He arrived in the UK in the 1980s and worked as a cashier at a Wickes DIY store in Ruislip, north west London. He was later sacked for allowing his wife to take a 200 pounds worth of DIY materials without paying. Ibori and his wife pleaded guilty and were fined by the Isleworth Crown Court. In 1992, Ibori was arrested again for using a stolen credit card and fined by a UK court.
After his convictions in the UK, Ibori returned to Nigeria. In 1999, he contested for Delta State Governor and won under the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), again he was re-elected in the 2003 elections. He office
Trial and Conviction
After serving two terms as governor of Delta State, James Ibori was charged by EFCC in December 2007, for theft of public funds, abuse of office and money laundry. In December 2009, at a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba Delta State, Ibori was discharged and acquitted of all the charges brought against him by the EFCC. The commission filed an appeal, challenging the judgement and begins a new round of investigation. The commission commenced a new round of investigation following a petition by members of Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum to the EFCC and was made public.
In April 2010, an attempt to arrest Ibori was not successful as a mob of his supporters resisted his arrest. He later fled Nigeria to Dubai.
Ibori was later extradited to the UK for prosecution after a failed application for asylum. At Southwark Crown Court he admitted 10 counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. According to London Police, Ibori lied about his date of birth to hide his criminal records. Ibori was sentenced to 13 years jail term for fraud totalling nearly £50m.
Ibori was released in December 2016, after serving half of his jail term and agreed to be deported.