Nigerian ex-governor James Ibori arrested in Dubai

Friday, May 14, 2010

James Ibori, a former Nigerian governor, has been arrested in Dubai on corruption charges. Ibori was the governor of Delta State from 1999 until 2007. He has been accused of stealing US$290m (£196m). As well as being wanted by Nigeria's EFCC anti-corruption agency and by law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom.

London's Metropolitian Police released a statement saying that Ibori had been arrested at the United Kingdom's request on suspicion of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. The Met added that they are seeking extradition though the EFCC are reported to have requested his extradition to Nigeria.

Ibori's UK assets were frozen in 2007. They amounted around US$35m while Ibori's annual salary only amounted to US$25,000. He had already returned to Nigeria when his assets were frozen prior to his arrest in Nigeria in December 2007.

Ibori was cleared of all 170 charges by an Asaba court in 2009 which found that there was no evidence to convict him. Police attempted to arrest him again in Nigeria last month but were attacked by Ibori's supporters.

The former governor has been a senior figure in People's Democratic Party for many years. He played a big part in getting Umaru Yar'Adua elected as president.