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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Judge Anthony Pitts pronounced the 13 years (4 years) concurrently
sentence, Ibori was said to have shaken his head and sighed.