James Ibori's Next Move In Politics - Leystradamus.Com.Ng

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

James Ibori's Next Move In Politics

wielded influence in his native home even from his British prison cell, where he was serving a 13-year sentence for money laundering and fraud.

With the 57-year-old now back on home soil, few doubt he will remain an important player in the cut-throat world of politics - even behind the scenes - as elections approach in two years.

The former governor of Delta state in the oil-rich south, who used looted public funds to buy luxury homes, top-of-the-range cars and a private jet, has said that African politicians never retire.

"Politics is in his blood,” his former adviser Ighoyota Amori told AFP. “He will for now take a short rest before deciding on the next line of action.”

But in a strong hint Ibori was eyeing some political role, just as parties begin jostling for position for the 2019 vote, Amori said his former boss was a political “godfather and kingmaker”.

“No politician worth his calling can take Ibori’s endorsement for granted. He will forever remain relevant in national affairs,” he added.

– ‘Personal sacrifice’ –Ibori, a former cashier at a British chain of DIY stores, was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly 50 million pounds (at the time $78.5 million, 62 million euros).

The trial judge and police, however, believe he misappropriated much more.

His conviction in Britain followed a drawn-out extradition procedure from Dubai, where he fled in 2010, and his evasion of arrest and prosecution in Nigeria.

The case was seen as a landmark in the fight against high-level international corruption, with billions of pounds of illicit cash said to be channelled through Britain every year.

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