Saturday, 18 April 2015

UK Taxpayers face huge bill as Ibori's case is postponed till June 2016

Ibori was governor of Nigeria’s Delta State between 1999 and 2007. He admitted fraud totalling nearly £50 million, but now denies making personal profit from his crimes.  

 UK Taxpayers are facing a “huge” new bill after efforts to force a former Nigerian state governor from London to repay profits from a £50 million fraud were delayed for more than a year.

James Ibori, former Governor of delta state, Nigeria, was  working  as a cashier in the UK, on a £5,000-a-year  at a Wickes DIY branch in Ruislip, before returning to Nigeria to become a state Governor.
He became a multi-millionaire after committing a series of scams during an eight-year career running its oil rich Delta State.

According to London Evening Standard, His wealth allowed him to buy expensive homes, a £12 million jet and a £1 million fleet of cars including a Bentley, Mercedes and armoured Range Rovers. His crimes were detected in a Scotland Yard investigation that led to him being jailed in April 2012 for 13 years for fraud and money laundering.
 But a decision on how much he will have to repay has now been postponed again, to June next year, after lawyers for Ibori and two other defendants told Southwark crown court that more time was needed to prepare their cases.

Prosecuting barrister Sasha Wass QC said the delay to the hearing, which was due to start in 2017, meant the cost to the taxpayer of dealing with Ibori would spiral further. She said £2 million had already been spent on his defence. Ivan Krolick, representing Ibori, told the judge that he and another defence barrister needed more time because of the recent submission of a 66,000-page file of prosecution evidence.
Ms Wass said the new file contained evidence already given to the defence, repackaged to make it easier to read.

 Ms Onuigbo’s barrister, Ami Feder, said his client — deported after serving her prison term for money laundering — wished to return to Britain for the hearing but failed to obtain a visa and needed time for a new application.

 Judge Pitts agreed to delay the hearing after barristers for the other defendants, London solicitor Bhadresh Gohil and Ibori’s former mistress Udoamaka Onuigbo, also called for a delay.

 It means Ibori will not have to repay any of the money until at least 2017.

Source: London Evening Standard.

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