13 December 2010

Nigeria: Dubai Court Upholds Ibori's Extradition to UK

Dubai's highest court, the cassation court, has ruled that former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, must be extradited to the United Kingdom to face money laundering charges.

According to Reuters, the former governor is wanted in the UK over allegations of corruption and was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in May at the request of Britain's Metropolitan Police, and a Dubai court later approved a British extradition request.

He is also wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Nigeria.

A statement read in court in Dubai yesterday said the Gulf Arab emirates' cassation court had ruled against the appeal by Ibori who was governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007.

The former governor had stated that the accusations against him were political.

A British court froze $35 billion worth of his assets in August 2007 on suspicion that they were the proceeds of corruption. Several of Ibori's associates in Britain are facing money-laundering charges.

The EFCC tried to arrest Ibori in April before his trip to Dubai to question him over allegations that he looted N44 billion from Delta State coffers.

But a violent crowd prevented police from arresting him in his hometown of Oghara and he later left the country for Dubai.

Ibori is one of many former state governors to have been charged by the EFCC in cases seen as a test of the Nigerian government's commitment to tackle corruption.

These cases have made little progress through Nigeria's criminal justice system.

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