Court orders the arrest of former Governor James Onanefe Ibori.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chief James Onanefe Ibori

Written by Lanre Adewole

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, declared former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, wanted in connection with alleged corruption and money laundering while in office. Ibori, who ruled the state between 1999 and 2007, has been having brushes with the commision even before he left office on May 29, 2007.

Elders and stakeholders in the state, led by Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, have accused him of stealing public funds running into billions of naira.

They have continually petitioned the commission, supplying documentary evidence at different points to prove their case that Ibori looted the state treasury.

He was arraigned by the commission last year, but a high court in Asaba quashed the charge against him. The commission has appealed against the judgment.

Ibori is also being tried in the United Kingdom alongside his alleged mistress, Uzoamaka Okonkwo and sister, Ibie Ibori.

The trial court in the United Kingdom had ordered that his assets be frozen.

The former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Michael Aondoaaka SAN, was accused, on several occasions, of making moves to frustrate Ibori’s trial both home and abroad.

Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, in a statement issued in Abuja, on Tuesday, noted that the former governor was wanted by the anti-graft agency over an ongoing investigation into some allegations of official corruption and money laundering.

The statement read “Following persistent public enquiries over the status of the case involving the former governor, we will like the public to know that Chief James Ibori is wanted by the commission for interrogation.

“In this regard, letters of invitation have been sent to his known addresses in Lagos and Abuja while a court warrant has equally been obtained for his arrest.”


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