Chief James Ibori the former Governor of Delta State (South-South Nigeria) has been released from prison in the United Kingdom after serving out his jail term despite make shift attempts by the UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd to detain him in prison.
He was due for release on Tuesday 20th December 2016, having agreed to be deported after serving half of his 13-year sentence (61/2). Chief James Ibori, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50m in April 2012..
The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd according to information did not intend to deport Ibori to Nigeria until he handed over £18m from the alleged crime”.
But the High Court led by judge, Mrs. Justice May said attempts to detain him were “quite extraordinary” and ordered Mr. Ibori to be immediately freed from prison and also rejected an Home Office application that Chief Ibori be electronically tagged and subject to strict curfew conditions.
“You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient to do so and without plans to deport them.”
Today, the Home Office’s barrister said the government was concerned that Ibori might “frustrate confiscation proceedings” and wanted him kept in jail or subject to strict controls on his movement.
Ian MacDonald QC, representing Ibori, said: “The Secretary of State has taken it upon herself. There is no objection from (the CPS) for release.”
“They (the CPS) don’t care.” “Why doesn’t the Secretary of State just send him back?” she asked. “He wants to go. She wants him to go”.
“The review team found material to support the assertion that a police officer received payment in return for information,” the CPS admitted in September.
In court today, Ibori’s barrister, Ivan Krolic said, “police officers in the investigations had been corrupt”. “The court of appeal rejected that after counsel for the Crown indicated that there was nothing to support the allegation”.
Judge Mrs Justice May ordering Ibori’s release, said: “The Secretary of State appears to have take it upon herself that Mr Ibori does remain in this country, in apparent contradiction of the order served earlier this year to deport him.” “The position of the Secretary of State, as very candidly set out by Mr Birdling (for the home secretary), is that she accepts that there is an argument that she has no power to detain him.” “I have decided that the balance of convenience falls heavily in favour of his immediate release. “I am not prepared to impose conditions involving tagging or curfews.”
The case hearing for deportation will take place in before the end of January 2017.