James Ibori

James Ibori Biography / Profile

James Onanefe Ibori was born to the family of late Chief Ukavbe Ibori and Mrs. Comfort Oji Ibori of Otefe in Oghara clan, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria, on August 4th, 1959. He served as governor of the state from May 2th, 1999 to May, 29th 2007 under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

James Ibori Age

James Ibori is 64 years old.

James Ibori Early Life

Ibori attended Baptist High School, Oghareki, now Oghareki Grammar School, before proceeding to the University of Benin where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Statistics. He later moved to London, UK, in the early 1980s.

James Ibori Career

Ibori worked as a cashier at Wickes DIY store in Ruislip,Middlesex . In 1990, he and his wife were arrested for theft from the store, and fined £300. In 1991, he was convicted of handling a stolen credit card, and fined £100. Returning to Nigeria, between 1994 and 1997 he served as a consultant to the Federal Government of President Sani Abacha, in the areas of public policy formulation and implementation. In 1999, Ibori took out a mortgage on a property in Abbey Road , London. To mask his previous convictions in the UK, he obtained a false birth certificate and then passport, medically impossible as it was dated a month after his elder sisters birthdate.

Ibori’s political career began in 1990 when he joined the National Republican Convention (NRC). In 1991, he was nominated to contest for the Federal House of Representatives seat, to represent Ethiope Federal Constituency. He lost the election to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate. When the Sani Abacha Transition Programme kicked off, he joined the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM). The GDM clinched a good number of local, state and federal positions, including one of the three senatorial seats in the state. The transition programme was abruptly terminated with the death of Abacha. Ibori then with the leaders of other defunct political groups in Delta State, formed the Delta National Congress (DNC).The DNC later merged with many others of like ideas to birth the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was on the platform of the PDP that he contested and won the January 9th, 1999 Delta State Gubernatorial Election. Proposed as governor of Delta State, under Nigerian law Ibori had to swear that he had no previous convictions. Using the false birth certificate and passport that he had used for the mortgage application in London, he passed the tests falsely, and was elected to become the governor from 1999. In 2003, he was re-elected as governor for another four-year term and was succeeded by Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2007.

After leaving office, Ibori was accused of money laundering. His troubles started when some of his kinsmen filed allegations of fraud against him to the then Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), chairman, Nuhu Ribadu. However, Ribadu failed to act, which led to an uproar. In 2007, acting on many reports received, the Metropolitan Police raided the London offices of a lawyer named Bhadresh Gohil. They found computer hard drives containing details of a myriad off-shore companies, run for Ibori by Gohil, fiduciary agent Daniel Benedict McCann, and corporate financier Lambertus De Boer. The three men were jailed for 30 years. But Ibori denied any involvement and accused, Nuhu Ribadu and the UK courts of politically motivated witch-hunting.

Persistence by the UK authorities, in August 2007, Ibori's assets to the tune of about $35 million were frozen and his wife, Nkoyo Ibori was arrested in November 2007 and questioned in London, but was later released. The London police kept his assets frozen because he could not explain how on a salary of less than $25,000 as governor, he had $35 million in his account. 

On December 12th, 2007, he was arrested by the EFCC at the Kwara state lodge in Asokoro, Abuja. The commission brought the following charges of theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering against him. Ribadu alleged that Ibori had tried to bribe him with a cash gift of $15 million, which Ribadu immediately lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. Reports have it that the money remains in the CBN as an exhibit. However, in December 2009, a federal high court sitting in Asaba, Delta state, discharged and acquitted Ibori of all the 170 charges of corruption brought against him by EFCC.

In 2010, his sins came after him and Ibori ran. Three months after Goodluck Jonathan became president, Ibori was accused of embezzling N40 billion, the governor of CBN later said that he had used Delta state as collateral for N40 billion loan. Attempts to arrest him were unsuccessful. He reportedly fled from Abuja to Lagos and then to the creeks of Oghara, his homeland in the Niger Delta. There were rumours that he was guarded by militants who shot at government security forces. He denied these charges. In April 2010, he fled Nigeria, prompting the EFCC to request the assistance of Interpol.

An international arrest warrant was issued by the United Kingdom and enforced by Interpol and eventually Ibori was arrested on May 13th, 2010 in Dubai. He was granted bail, but as the United Kingdom were seeking his extradition, the United Arab Emirates kept his movements restricted. He fought the extradition and fought for political asylum in Dubai. However this was not granted and he was eventually extradited to the UK in 2012. In June 2010, UK juries found his sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori and his associate, Udoamaka Okoronkwo, guilty on counts of money laundering. Despite Ibori releasing a statement absolving the women, Ms Okoronkwo and Adebimpe Pogoson who were charged alongside his sister. Christine Ibie-Ibori and Udoamaka Okoronkwo were each sentenced to 5 years in prison on Monday, June 7th, 2010.

On Tuesday, April 17th, 2012, after 5 years of running, James Ibori was sentenced to 13 years by Southwark Crown Court for his crimes. His houses, luxury cars and other properties were confiscated. The judge ruled that he was expected to spend half of the jail term which is six and half years. Also, the 645 days he had spent in detention facilities both in Dubai and UK were deducted from the sentence. 

On Wednesday, December 21th, 2016, Ibori was released from prison to a house arrest pending all other issues in the United Kingdom. President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has begun the process of extraditing former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was released from jail in the United Kingdom two days ago. According to The Punch, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has told the EFCC to make Ibori’s 170 charges file available.

James Ibori Personal Life

Ibori was married to Theresa Ibori between 1980 and 2003 when they separated. They have a daughter named Erhiatake Ibori, who represents Ethiope West constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly. Chief Ibori later re-married, this time to Senami Sosu.

James Ibori Net Worth

His net worth is not available.

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