Elombah.com can confirm that Ex-Governor James Ibori has been arrested in Dubai by Interpol and might be extradited to London for money laundering charges. Feelers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had indicated that the anti-graft outfit might have engaged the International Police to arrest the fleeing former Governor of Delta State. Sources in the commission explained that the action became imperative following reports that the embattled ex-governor had fled the country.
If Ibori is successfully extradited to the UK, he will be the second person to be extradited under the Extradition Treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance signed between the UK and the government of the United Arab Emirates. The first person was Jeleel Ahmed, 28, who was extradited to the UK in August 2009 to face murder charges.
The British government had gotten a London court to freeze all Ibori’s assets in the UK and Canada before applying to the Nigerian government under late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to extradite Mr. Ibori to London to face various charges including money laundering. The request was however frustrated by the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Michael Aondooaka.
Mr. Ibori was recently declared wanted by the Economic and financial Crimes Commission over alleged diversion of N528m shares belonging to Delta State in Oceanic Bank. But sources say Ibori was arrested on a warrant issued by the London Metropolitan Police following a tip-off by Nigeria Security Agencies.
The UK authorities has a warrant on Ibori issued in 2008
Ibori’s associates, including Miss Udoamaka Okoronkwo, his sister, Christine Ebie-Ibori, and a former personal aide, Ms Pogoson, are facing money laundering charges in London.
The trial is nearing its end at the Southwark Crown Court. Last Monday, lawyers representing Ibori’s associates began making closing arguments. UK sources Ibori arrest and possible extradition will introduce an extraordinary dimension to the whole trial.