FORMER Delta State governor Chief James Ibori has been released from jail in the UK after serving about four years and 10 months of a 13 year prison sentence which he was handed in 2012 after pleading guilty to money laundering charges.
In April 2012, Chief Ibori was sentenced to 13 years in jail by Southwark Crown Court but having been held in custody prior to his conviction, he has now spent about half of his term in jail. As is normal under British procedures, Chief Ibori was due to be released this month after serving half his sentence, taking into account pre-trial detention.
However, it is not clear whether Chief Ibori will return home immediately because legal proceedings concerning the confiscation of his assets, worth tens of millions of dollars, remain unresolved. They were supposed to have been resolved years ago but have ground to a halt due to the allegations of police corruption and the prospect of Chief Ibori taking his case to the Court of Appeal.
Tony Elumenor, Chief Ibori’s spokesman, confirmed that his patron was released just past noon, having served out his term by midnight yesterday. Already many of Chief Ibori’s friends and associates have gathered in London to deliberate on the future of the former governor.
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