The Former Delta State Governor James Onanefe Ibori was released from Huntcombe Prison following the failure of a last-minute effort by the UK Homeland Office to keep him in prison via a court application. The former governor will, however, be confined to a House arrest in a flat on Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood area in London pending a confiscation hearing scheduled for January. In the meantime, he will visit a police station in Croydon regularly.
Mrs. Justice May of the Royal Court of Justice Court 1 in London ruled earlier today that Ibori be released after he completed his money laundering jail term.His house arrest means he is far from being a free man, and will certainly not be spending the Christmas with his friends and relatives in Nigeria.
Chief Ibori wants to return to Nigeria on his own terms but the Homeland Office wants him to be deported. Also, the UK government is pushing for confiscation proceedings on Ibori’s illegally acquired properties.
In Nigeria, lawyers to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission say Ibori faces further legal challenges if and when he is extradited to Nigeria.