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Thursday, December 22, 2016

James Ibori Released From UK Prison


Former Delta State Governor James Ibori has released from Huntcombe Prison following the failure of a last-minute effort by the UK Homeland Office to keep in prison via a court application.

He was released from the UK prison, where he had spent four years and eight months.

A London court ruled that the Home Office had no more powers to hold the ex-governor, who had served six-and-a-half-years of his 13-year jail term.

Ibori was jailed on Tuesday, April 17, 2012, for 13 years by the Southwark Crown Court, London.

He had earlier spent 645 days in detention facilities in Dubai and the UK which were deducted from his total jail term.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported on Wednesday that the application made by the Britain Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, that Ibori remained in the UK until he handed over £18m of “proceeds of crime”, failed.

According to the BBC, the presiding judge, Mrs. Justice May, said, “The Secretary of State appears to have taken it upon herself that Mr. Ibori does remain in this country, in apparent contradiction of the order served earlier this year to deport him.

“The position of the Secretary of State, as very candidly set out by Mr. Birdling (representing the home secretary), is that she accepts that there is an argument that she has no power to detain him.

“I have decided that the balance of convenience falls heavily in favour of his immediate release. I am not prepared to impose conditions involving tagging or curfews. You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient to do so and without plans to deport them.”

The judge, however, said the matter of Ibori’s deportation should be heard before the end of January.

 Ibori is expected to face a fresh trial in the UK meant to forfeit his assets in the country to the British government.

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