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Jailed Ibori still making millions from prison

Former Governor of Delta State James Ibori, who has since started his jail term in the UK after he was convicted of stealing $80m, is still making money through his companies. The story of former Delta State governor James Ibori is not unlike that of the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, even though they differ. Escobar was rich even though a criminal. At his peak, he owned numerous luxury residences, automobiles, and airplanes. Indeed, he even had a short-lived career in politics.

For James Ibori, the story sounds pretty imitating. During his trial in London, United Kingdom, the court heard that Ibori was able to afford luxury properties, fleets of Rolls Royces, a Bentley and a Maybach, first class travel, private boarding school fees and a private jet worth $20 million, far above what his salary as governor could give him.

And like Escobar, who continued to make money through his numerous ‘illegal’ businesses, even after he was jailed, Ibori is also believed to be making millions even as he commenced his prison term in the United Kingdom. In Delta State, for instance, the former governor is believed to be either the owner or one of the owners of ULO Consultants Limited, a construction and consulting firm handling several lucrative government projects in the state.

If this is so, as many of our sourced said it is, then Ibori is reaping billions of naira even as he is serving a jail term in London.

ULO is currently handling the construction of a gigantic building that is to be the new Government House, in Asaba. The company constructed Maryam Babangida Way, Asaba that links the Benin/Asaba expressway with Asaba town.

It is also handling the construction of the state’s Commissioner’s quarters’ road and its drainage work covering the old to the new Government House as well as the dualization of section “C” of the Asaba/Ughelli road.

Indeed, the company is one of the three companies handling the contract for the demolition of the hill at the Asaba international Airport which was awarded at N7.4 billion.

When contacted for comments over Ibori’s ownership of the company and other matters related to its operation, ULO Chief executive officer, Uche Okpuno said he does not speak to the press and cannot therefore answer any question from the reporter.

However, a source at the company’s office in Asaba told this reporter on condition of anonymity that Ibori has investments and financial interests in the company, adding that, “There is no record in this company to show that Ibori is either a shareholder or a director. But some of us who have been in the company when he was the governor of the state know he own it.”

“When you visit our office at Wuse Zone 5 in Abuja you will realize that we share the same office with Daily Independent Newspapers. Everybody knows he (Ibori) owns that newspaper company. We got the highest number of construction work from his administration. We are still enjoying the same patronage under the present administration in the state.

“But when you look at the list of our executive management and administration officers, you will not see his name there. We have Chief Uche Okpuno as the Group Chairman and chief executive officer, Barrister Sam Nwosu is the Company Secretary, Brian George Hartzenberg is the General Manager, Toyo Osai is Assistant General Manager, Timothy Oladosu, Operations Manager and Christine Plaatjies, Human Resource Manager,” the source said.

Another source at the company that also pleaded anonymity argued that Ibori has assisted the company so much with contracts when he was the governor of the state and it was the same Ibori that linked the company with the current Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration that is also patronizing the company. Don’t forget that Uduaghan is a cousin to Ibori.
Her Majesty’s Wandsworth Prison

Ibori is currently being held at Wandsworth Prison in South West London. He has been in detention at the prison since his extradition from Dubai, United Arab Emirate in April 2011. Built in 1851, Wandsworth is one of the largest prisons in the UK and Europe. It is a male prison and holds more than 1,660 prisoners at a time. It has sports and health facilities, including specialist clinics for asthma, diabetes and mental health. It also has facilities for education and vocational training, as well as a library and a chaplaincy team that caters for various faiths of its inmates.

However, at Ibori’s assets confiscation hearing on Wednesday, May 9, his defence team hinted that the former governor may be moved to a prison outside London. A staff at Wandsworth who declined to give their name said it was normal to move prisoners to other prisons after trial to make room for other prisoners or to ensure convicts are held at appropriate prisons.

Weekly Trust recalls that shortly after Ibori was sentenced to 13 years in jail on April 17, a London Metropolitan police detective said Ibori may be allowed by the Home Office to be sent to Nigeria to complete his prison term. He however emphasized that would happen only after all pending issues, including the confiscation of Ibori’s assets were completed.

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11 Comments

  1. yes we all were aware of ibori’s case, but the truth is that ibori’s tenure was more favourable than that of uduaghan, we enjoys so many things during ibory tenure. We ve freedom of movement freedom of speech, right to life etc but now we are deprive of all that. So IBORY is a man that want othat to progress… one love

  2. Ibori is a man dat I ll forever loyal to,bcos during his tenure people were living very fine and well.he bless many lifes and deltans expirience a breath of fresh air.so if he comes out tomorrow I ll still vote him million times.long live my hero,long live my mentle and long live ogidigbogbo my leader

  3. Chief James Onanefe IBORI, is a man that is dear to my heart, a leader that will forever have my unalloyed loyalty, a father that will forever be, and an older friend that has never failed. He means a lot to us all that has ever had the opportunity to come close to him directly or indirectly…he doesn’t care if u are a deltan or not, he’s a form of a fortress that u can always run to. I can serve his jail term for him unconditionally if given the opportunity. I will always and forever be loyal to him either in jail or out of jail. He’s the man of the people.
    I greet you your majesty.

  4. Ibori is the man, no matter what, please free him,,pharaohs let him go, missing his pure heart toward all.

  5. IBORI IS THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE HE DOESNT CARE IF YOU ARE A DELTAN OR NOT IS TOO GOOD I WILL ALWAYS AND FOREVER BE LOYAL TO HIM EITHER IN JAIL OR OUT OF JAIL OGIDIGBOGBO LONG LIFE

  6. Ibori is a thief and he deserves life imprisonment. He must be left without a cent and suffer more than anyone in this world.he brought Nigeria to its knees til this day it can’t find its way back.Nigerians need to get their priorities straight nd stol supporting nonsense or else they wil keep pouring to other countries nd running away from their own.

  7. @dinny… I think u re very stupid… if u tink or feel Ibori is a thief,what about OBJ,lucky,Anini,Gudluck,etc..All Nigeria leaders are all dumb and thief’s not only Ibori..

  8. Ibori is a true son of delta state,I mean is the only governor who brought good things to deltas.ibori is my everyday hero,I pray God to guide and protect him from his enemys.God bless u,u hv deltas in heart but some wish your down fall,but God will always be there 4 u,no matter how many they are.I love you my hero and father.God will see u through ur trying times.

  9. Ibori was sharing Dollar to everyone who passes in front of his hotel room in the UK. Go on Facebook you will find the video there. His is Nigeria Legendary Criminal. He wanted to bribe Nuhu Ribadu(a Nigeria anti-corrupt leader) with 15million dollars but Rhibadu Rejected it and before you know it Rhibadu’s car was attached with some gun men, shot at him. Luckily the Hunda car was bullet proof.

  10. I will die for ibori,he is not only a legend,he is everything to deltans.he brought light to our state…he made many has four sight…he is our everything…my everything. ..I love him like kiloDE. may God see you through this trying times

  11. If we have 5 people like ibori in Nigeria.. . Nigeria will be
    change for good Country .. … AND what happened to our hero ibori is what will called oppression Because they don’t want Hero from Niger delta as president of Nigeria

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