Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ibori turns ‘BORN AGAIN' in London prison

FORMER Delta State governor, James Onanefe ibori has experienced the golden truth about the biblical saying that “whatever a man soweth, that he shall reap.” Ibori sowed the seed of corruption in his 8-year rule as Delta State helmsman, he was crafty enough to escape imprisonment in Nigeria, but not in United Kingdom where he was slammed with 13 years imprisonment by a South-Wark Crown Court in London. Now, James Ibori is alleged to be full of regrets for his past misdeeds. He has also reportedly turned a new leaf.
National Daily  gathered from competent sources  that the former Delta State governor is now an ardent student of the Bible which  he carries always as a companion.
“Ibori has been visited by the Holy Spirit; he is no longer the same. From the way he now talks, it seems old things have passed away and all things have become new. I observed that he said a little prayer when he alighted from the prison van and when he was standing in the dock. I heard something like God is in control from him as he walked away from the court. He was really looking very sobre, I think he may have become a born again Christian,” the source said, adding:
“Ibori inferred in a censored message he sent to one of his relatives who interacted with me that he spent most of his days in detention reading the Bible and praying fervently. He said he has fasted about four days in prison. He described his prison cell as being okay but not too comfortable.”
New Ibori
National Daily learned that Ibori a hitherto gregarious person has become an introvert in prison. “He keeps to himself, neither associating with fellow inmates who made inquiries about him on arrival at his London prison. His interaction with prison officers is even said to be minimal,” our competent source said.
It was further gathered that since his arrival from Dubai and for several weeks during his days in awaiting trial cell in London, Ibori refused to eat meals offered him by prison officials. He was said to have preferred meals bought from a restaurant or brought to him by one of his trusted relatives. Now that he has formally been sentenced, he is likely to change his mind because it will be difficult for him to sustain his presence for restaurant meals for four years and his relative may get tired of taking meals regularly to him in prison.” Sources said.
National Daily on inquiry about Ibori's state of health was told by the London returnee that he looked healthy but it appears circumstances has shown him down. “He was even inaudible when he acknowledged greetings from a group of Nigerians who stormed the London court in solidarity with him.

Competent sources said that Ibori was overwhelmed by the support which he had was given to him by his kith and kin in Oghara. He apparently thought he would be forgotten as is the attitude of some people who abandon their benefactor when he gets into trouble.
“But Ibori is unhappy with his wife, Theresa, for betraying him in his hour of trial. He expected Theresa to be sensible during Police interrogation and court examination instead she thoroughly abused Ibori almost agreeing with the prosecution that he is an unrepentant criminal and a wicked man. Ibori nearly wept openly when he heard his wife's evidence against him. He questioned her own moralty in castigating a man who did so much for her. However, he was not too harsh in his reaction to the role played by his mistress, Udoamaka Okoronkwo and Sister Christine Ibori-Ibie!! Our source said.
Ibori according to sources, is confident that God has a purpose for allowing him to undergo his present ordeal.
National Daily competent sources disclosed that Ibori has been deflated by his recent humiliating ordeal which became with the spirited attempt by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in corroboration with other Security Agencies to arrest him in his Oghara, Delta State country home in Nigeria. Ibori was determined to evade arrest and allegedly mustered some militant group members to harass Security Agents. In the midst of the eschewing confusion, Ibori reportedly escaped and was suspected to have sailed out of the country through the Cameroun Peninsula axis. He repeatedly landed in Dubai where he owned million dollar exquisite property. Soon as the Dubai Security authorities got wind of Ibori's presence in their country, they apprehended him and serenaded him in detention. It was good news for the Metropolitan Police in United Kingdom as the Metro Detectives who had built a dossier of fraudulent charges against Ibori quickly notified their counterpart in Dubai of their intention to have the suspect deported to London where he is expected to answer corruption charges.
Ibori allegedly admitted to the charge of conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to make false instruments, one count charge of obtaining property transfer by deception over the theft of more than 25 million pounds. One count charges of money laundering linked to a 37 million United States Dollars share fraud surrounding the sale of shares in Nigerian company Vs Mobile. Ibori's guilty plea was taken few weeks before he was finally sentenced.
National Daily learned that when it became apparent that Ibori will be jailed, his Counsel, Nicholas Purnell and his sympathizers from Nigeria made desperate effort to convince the trial Judge, Anthony Pitts to temper justice with mercy. It was at this point that a U.K based associate of former professional footballer, John Fashanu recommended him as an influential witness whose testimony would have the necessary effect on the final decision of the Judge. Fashanu was promptly contacted by a friend of his in London and urged to testify in order to save a country man from harsh prison terms.
“He was hesitant initially saying his appearance in the matter could have a negative effect on his image. He said he did not want to be seen as abetting corruption. He was also concerned about his image in the United Kingdom.” A source said, adding: “However, he changed his mind after one of Ibori's confidants assured him that he will be adequately compensated for his kind assistance.”
It was learned that Fashanu's testimony helped in no small measure in convincing the Judge to pass a lesser sentence on Ibori.
“You know, Fashanu is well respected in United Kingdom. He made tremendous impact as a soccer player for Wimbledon and the English National Team. He also had a fairly commendable lifestyle outside the field of play,” our source said.
Ibori was said to crest fallen on the day he was sentence. He was said to have looked morose at the Judge occasionally muttering inaudible words. He got 13 years to run four years as concurrent sentence, still he was allegedly disappointed because he was expecting a two year jail term.
When Judge Anthony Pitts pronounced the 13 years (4 years) concurrently sentence, Ibori was said to have shaken his head and sighed.
National Daily Nigeria

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