Posted by News Express | 2 May 2013 | 2,838 times
Hopes of a reprieve entertained by jailed former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, collapsed miserably today as he lost his appeal against a 13-year prison sentence for embezzling more than $250 million.
Ibori, a chieftain of Nigeria’s ruling party PDP, ruled oil-rich Delta State from 1999 to 2007 but ran into trouble when he fled to Dubai in a desperate bid to escape trial in Nigeria. The move however backfired as he was repatriated to London and sentenced to 13 years in prison for money laundering. His wife, sister, concubine and lawyer also bagged various jail terms in connection with the crime.
Ruling on Ibori’s appeal, Judge Antony Edwards-Stuart rejected his lawyer’s argument that the original judge had indicated the term would be shorter. Edwards-Stuart insisted that money laundering should attract close to the maximum 14-year sentence.
Ibori had pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraud and money-laundering in February 2012 and is the most prominent Nigerian politician to be successfully prosecuted for corruption.
The former governor’s case was heard in London after prosecutors argued that, although much of the activity in question took place in Nigeria, some money did pass through Britain and British banks.
•Photo shows Ibori.
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