Despite Stealing $250million from His People, Ibori Says He Believes in “Justice, Equity, Fairness”

James Ibori 

Speaking Saturday when he received a delegation from a socio-cultural group, Ndi Anioma, Mr. Ibori said his support for a governor from the Delta North senatorial district, which saw the emergence of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, was based on his believe for justice, equity and fairness.

The delegation to the former governor’s Oghara hometown was led by Emmanuel Efeizomor, the Obi of Owa, and Chairman, Delta Council of Traditional Rulers. Mr. Ibori commended the Delta North (Anioma) people for the visit and for their prayers which made his freedom from jail possible.

He said the massive support he received from the Aniomas in his quest for governorship in 1998 prompted his choice of an Anioma indigene as his deputy.

“My believe in justice, equity and fairness informed my firm support for an Anioma governor which has come to pass with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the saddle,” he said.

He promised to continue to identify with Anioma people and urged them to remain united and support Mr. Okowa to succeed. After almost five years of playing cat and mouse with Nigerian and British authorities, the former governor capitulated on February 27, 2012, pleading guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

Before Judge Anthony Pitts, Mr. Ibori admitted stealing $250million as alleged by the prosecution. The Metropolitan Police had accused the former governor of spending some of the stolen money to purchase six houses in London – paying £2.2m in cash for one Hampstead mansion – and putting his children in expensive British private schools.

Revelations from Panama Papers later showed in vivid details how Mr. Ibori carefully organised his looting scheme.

To hide his loot, Mr. Ibori, working through a Swiss asset management firm, Clamorgan S.A. in Geneva, established several offshore companies, including Stanhope Investments Limited,a foundation, Julex Foundation, and a trust, The Hopes Trust, enlisting himself, his wife and daughters as beneficiaries.

-Premium Times
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