A court in the UK is set to order the seizure of more than £100 million ($129 million) from former Delta State Governor James Ibori.
This comes about six years after Ibori’s return to Nigeria after serving a prison sentence for money laundering and fraud charges.
The British authorities had indicted him for stealing public funds and laundering them through UK banks and properties with the trial on confiscation proceedings against Ibori beginning in February 2017.
According to reports, Judge David Tomlinson of Southwark Crown Court has made factual findings regarding the amount of money linked to the former governor.
The prosecution and the defence, during a hearing on Thursday, presented their arguments on how the confiscation figure should be calculated based on the judge’s findings.
Ibori, who returned to Nigeria in 2017 after serving half of his sentence, did not attend the hearing.
The prosecution lawyer, Jonathan Kinnear, told the court that the total amount that should be confiscated from Ibori was 101.5 million pounds, and that if he failed to pay he should face an additional prison term of between five and 10 years.
The judge is expected to conclude and issue an order on Friday or soon after.
Release From Prison
In 2011, the 63-year-old former governor was extradited to London from Dubai after fleeing Nigeria.
The following year, Ibori admitted to 10 charges of fraud and money laundering and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Ibori was released from prison on December 21, 2016, upon a court order, Channels Television reported.
The judge, Mrs Juliet May, ordered the immediate release of Ibori, a judgement Ibori’s spokesman, Mr Tony Eluemunor, described as a major victory against the British Home Office, at the Royal Court of Justice, Queens Court 1, London.
Counsel to the Home Office wanted Ibori to remain in detention after he had served his jail term.
But the Crown Prosecution lawyer, Sian Davies, did not object to Ibori’s release and return to Nigeria.