Ibori To Face 170 EFCC Charges

A former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, still has 170 charges against him pending before a Federal High Court.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered on Saturday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would soon arraign him on charges bordering on corruption.

Ibori arrived Nigeria through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

According to eyewitnesses, the former governor came into Abuja using a British Airways flight that touched down at the airport around 5.30am.

Family members and well-wishers were at the NAIA to receive the former governor, as airport security officials and some staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria exchanged pleasantries with him.

It was learnt that the governor arrived with a British Airways Boeing 777 aircraft with registration G-VIID.

He travelled to Oghara, his hometown, through the Benin airport while his family, friends and associates waited in vain for him at the Osubi airport, near Effurun in Delta State, where he was expected to land directly from Abuja.

A source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the former governor would still  answer questions from the EFCC and that the commission would soon invite him.

Following his conviction in the United Kingdom, there were criticisms against the Nigerian justice system, especially an Asaba High Court which had struck out 170 charges which the EFCC had brought against Ibori.

However, the EFCC took the matter to the Appeal Court where a three-man panel of justices on May 15, 2014, at the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal, ruled that the ex-governor, who is currently serving a 13-year jail term in a London prison, has a case to answer.

The Appellate Court panel led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa ordered that the case be reassigned to another judge of the Federal High Court for continuation of trial.

The EFCC subsequently said in a statement in 2014 that the ex-governor would be rearrested upon the completion of his prison sentence.

The EFCC statement read, “With this judgment, the coast is clear for Ibori to face trial in Nigeria upon the completion of his jail term in London.”

Attempts to speak with the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Saturday proved abortive.

However, a source within the commission said, “Ibori still has 170 charges pending against him. Also, the Appeal Court has given us the go-ahead to prosecute him and this ruling has not been upturned by the Supreme Court.

“As things stand, the EFCC has the right to arrest him at anytime. Ibori, among other allegations, was accused of embezzling N40bn which belonged to the state. Also, a former Chairman of the EFCC,  Nuhu Ribadu, alleged that the former governor attempted to bribe him with $15m cash.”

 

Recommend to friends
  • gplus
  • pinterest