18 May James Ibori: UK returns $5.8m stolen by ex-governor to Nigeria
18 May 2021
Some $5.8m (£4.2m) recovered by UK agencies that was stolen by a Nigerian former governor and laundered in Britain have now been returned to Nigeria, the Nigerian authorities say.
Former Delta state Governor James Ibori was convicted of money laundering in the UK in 2012.
Prosecutors say he stole an estimated $165m (£117m) from the oil-rich state. A Bombardier Challenger jet is among the items listed in court documents for a confiscation order against Ibori.
‘How we found a dead leader’s hidden loot’
The £4.2m has been recovered from Ibori’s wife, sister and fiduciary agent, who were also convicted of money laundering.
Observers expect more money to be retrieved from Ibori himself.
Nigeria’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami hailed the return of the loot as a “demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns” for managing recovered money, according to a statement from his spokesperson.
Who is James Ibori?
James Ibori went from petty thief to Nigerian state governor to convicted money launderer.
He went to the UK in the 1980s and worked as a cashier at a DIY shop in London.
Ibori was convicted in 1991 for stealing from the store but then returned to Nigeria and got involved in politics.
When he ran for Delta State governor, he lied about his date of birth to hide his UK conviction – which would have prevented him standing for office.