Former governor of Delta State, James Ibori may return home to complete his 13 years jail term for money laundering and associated crimes according to an agreement signed between Nigeria and the UK.
The Prisoners Transfer Agreement, PTA, which was signed on Wednesday by the minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, Mohammed Adoke, and the UK justice secretary, Jermey Wright, on behalf of both countries will allow some of the 521 Nigerians serving jail terms in the UK to be repatriated.
Responding to questions from journalists, Wright said Nigerians serving less than twelve months in the UK would not be eligible for the transfer.
“There are a number of Nigerian prisoners already in British prisons. Not all of them will be eligible for transfer under this agreement, for example, because, it will only be those sentenced to twelve months or longer who will be eligible under this agreement,” he said.
According to the agreement, a prisoners’ consent will not be required before repatriation, but Nigeria and the UK will have to agree on those who should benefit from this arrangement.
Adoke said the signing of the agreement was good for both countries and is an indication of the friendly and cordial relationship between Nigeria and the UK.
“This is a good agreement for both Nigeria and the United Kingdom and I think it gives us the opportunity to strengthen our partnership and our friendship. It is also an opportunity to ensure that those prisoners who come from either country will serve their own sentences in their own countries and that is better for their rehabilitation,” he said.
According to him, the UK has pledged to commit one million pounds to help improve the condition of prisons in Nigeria.
In April 2012, a British court sentenced Ibori to jail for 13 years for money laundering and associated crimes.
His wife, sister, mistress and London solicitor were earlier convicted by a British court for money laundering.