Ibori appears in London court today
Former Delta State governor, James Ibori, will on Monday appear before the Southwark Crown Court in London for the resumption of his trial. The embattled governor is faced with money laundering charges levelled against him.
There have been indications that the former governor may be prepared to cave in to a plea bargain with the Metropolitan Police. The Courts had dropped one of Ibori’s 14 charges in a bid to build a watertight case against the former governor accused of extensive money laundering.
Ibori, now facing 13 charges, had allegedly siphoned funds from the Delta State treasury into accounts in London.
His accomplices – including his sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori, his associate, Udoamaka Okonkwo and his wife, Theresa Nkoyo Ibori – have already received sentences between five and eight years for aiding the former governor’s illicit activities during his two-term tenure.
Mr. Ibori’s UK-based lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was also handed down a 10-year sentence in April. He had earlier been sentenced to a 7 year sentence that runs concurrently with his more recent conviction.
According to sources, the former governor is seriously considering a plea deal he had previously objected to. His lawyers are reportedly advising the beleaguered Ibori to take the deal, given the psychological and financial toll the case has taken on him, coupled with the possibility of severe penalty from the British authorities.
Mr. Ibori had been apprehended by Interpol in Dubai and extradited to London in 2011, where he has remained in police custody.