Tuesday, April 17, 2012

James Ibori Bags 13-year Jail Sentence

The Southwark Crown Court 9 in London on Tuesday sentenced a former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, to 13 years in prison for money laundering and corruption.
Ibori has been standing trial before Judge Anthony Pitts for corruption and alleged theft of $250 million.
He had on February 27, 2012 pleaded guilty to 10 counts of 10 counts of fraud, money laundering and corruption involving the sale of Delta State Government shares in a defunct mobile phone firm, VMobile, as well as the illicit use of funds belonging to the state government.
The prosecution stated that as governor, he racked up credit card bills of $200,000 (£126,000) per month on a luxury lifestyle, including running a fleet of armoured Range Rovers.
He was trying to buy a plane for £12m at the time he was arrested.
Ibori admitted one count of conspiracy to launder money, five of money laundering and one of obtaining a property transfer by deception over the theft of more than £25m while he was governor.
He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to make false instruments, and one count of money laundering linked to a $37m (£23.3m) share fraud surrounding the sale of shares in VMobile.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass told the court Ibori had accepted he was involved in “wide-scale theft, fraud and corruption when he was governor of Delta State.”
Ibori admitted several money laundering charges and deception. He allegedly used a false date of birth when he ran for governor in 1999, to conceal previous convictions.
His previous criminal record would have excluded him from taking part in the election.
Ms Wass added, “Mr Ibori tricked his way into public office. He had tricked the Nigerian authorities and the Nigerian voters. He was thus never the legitimate governor of Delta State.”

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