Pictures: The Looted Wealth Of James Ibori

Woodhill Crescent, Kenton: One of Christine Ibori-Ibie'

Ibori's Abuja Mansion

7 Westover Hill, Hampstead. One of James Ibori's London properties. Bought in 2001 for £2.2 million in cash.

Abbey Road, one of James Ibori's London properties

Ibori's Range Rover

Udoamaka Okoronkwo's mansion in Lagos

Ibori's Bentley Continental GT

42 Great Ground, Shaftesbury, Dorset. James Ibori's property in the West Country Bought in 2005 for £311,000

Former Delta State Governor James Ibori rise from DIY store worker to international playboy with a £250m fortune is the stuff of dreams.

A few years after quitting his £5,000-a-year job as a cashier for Wickes, Ibori had become one of Nigeria’s most influential and richest politicians.

He wasted no time spending his new-found wealth on luxury homes, top-of-the-range cars, five-star travel and fees at exclusive boarding schools.

But on Monday the 49-year-old stood shame-faced in the dock of London’s Southwark Court as he admitted stealing tens of millions of pounds from the oil-rich state he governed in Nigeria. Scotland Yard detectives believe his fraud could exceed £250m.

He was on trial in the UK because much of the stolen money was laundered through his London office.

Ibori moved from Nigeria to West London in the late 1980s and was found guilty of stealing goods from the Wickes store he worked at in Ruislip in 1990.

A year later he was convicted of handling a stolen credit card. He moved back to Nigeria and worked for then Nigerian Head of State, Sani Abacha, as a policy consultant.

Rising quickly through the ranks of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, he was voted governor of Delta State in 1999, winning re-election four years later.

In power, he systematically stole from the public purse, taking kickbacks and transferring state funds to his own bank accounts around the world.

He was helped by family members, including his wife Theresa, sister Christine Ibori-Ibie, his mistress Udoamaka Oniugbo, and Mayfair lawyer Bhadresh Gohil.

A massive police investigation into Ibori’s activities revealed he had bought six properties in London, including a six-bedroom house with indoor pool in Hampstead for £2.2m and a flat opposite the nearby Abbey Road recording studios.

There was also a property in Dorset, a £3.2m mansion in South Africa and further real estate in Nigeria.

He owned a fleet of armoured Range Rovers costing £600,000 and a £120,000 Bentley. On one of his trips to London he bought a Mercedes Maybach for more than £300,000 at a dealer on Park Lane and immediately shipped it to South Africa.

He bought a private jet for £12m, spent £126,000 a month on his credit cards and ran up a £15,000 bill for a two-day stay at the Lanesborough hotel in London.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass told the court Ibori concealed his UK criminal record, which would have excluded him from office in Nigeria.

“He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house,” Miss Wass said.

“As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta State’s wealth and hand out patronage.”

The court heard Ibori abused his position to award contracts to his associates including his sister and his mistress.

Scotland Yard began its investigation into Ibori after officers found two computer hard drives in his London office that revealed his criminality.

He was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in December 2007, but two years later a court in his home town, Asaba, dismissed the charges saying there was not enough evidence.

When the case was reopened by Nigerian authorities in April 2010, Ibori fled to Dubai where he was detained at the request of the Metropolitan Police and extradited to the UK last April.

In a packed courtroom Ibori, dressed in a dark grey suit and black shirt, appeared in the dock to enter ten guilty pleas to fraud, money laundering and conspiracy on what was due to be the first day of a 12-week trial.

His wife, his mistress and his sister were all jailed for five years each for money laundering offences following earlier trials.

Last March, Gohil, 46, and described as Ibori’s London-based lawyer, was jailed for seven years for his role in the scam.

Attempts will be made to confiscate as much of Ibori’s money and assets as possible so that they can be returned to Nigeria.

The Met’s Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore said, “It is always rewarding for anyone working on a proceeds of corruption case to know that the stolen funds they identify will eventually be returned to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.”

Ibori will be sentenced on April 16 and 17.

Source: Daily Mail

  1. Babajulbe Reply

    Praise be to God as he revealed what is unclose to my fellow national. This will also serve as a lesson not to our leaders alone rather to all Nigerians.

  2. Mohammed Auwalu Reply

    O God, hw i wish dis loot wud’nt end up lyk d billions recoverd frm Tafa balogun.

  3. george Reply

    when are they coming to investigate his properties in south africa/

  4. natty Reply

    the whole of nigeria politician are the same, why is obori’s case dffrent?

  5. nikk Reply

    There is nothing hidden under the sun, no matter the evil one day it will surely come to light, it is always easier to do the right thing than committing hundreds of atrocities covering one evil. be wise my fellow Nigerians.

  6. Charles Reply

    The greatest dhinrance to perceivable economic growth in Nigeria is the 3.3% annual population increase. This is simply unsustainable. I would like to be informed of a low-income country that has achieved significant economic growth in its recent history, while shouldering the burden of an exponential increase in population. In my opinion, this is highly implausible, except such a country manages to churn out an annual corresponding 10 to 15 % GDP growth per year.It is well and fine that the Nigerian government speaks about economic development but, let’s face it, there will be little perceivable development. The economy grows on average by 4 to 6% annually (probably lower in this era of global recession) but the burgeoning population growth only ensures that more people (in absolute terms) drift into poverty.Nigeria currently has about 160 million inhabitants. This, in my opinion, is enough. There needs to be a policy to control this growth (I might have stepped on a sensitive political area here). Nigeria has a limited landmass albeit rich in natural resources. When one thinks that in 25 years time there will be about 300 million people in Nigeria, it indeed becomes scary.Being amongst the 20 biggest economies in the world isn’t enough. Nigeria will undoubtedly get there, with or without a dedicated government policy. Its huge population will ensure that. The question becomes what the per capita (or perceivable) growth will be and what needs to be done to raise the real’ GDP per capita to about 10,000 USD from the 1,5000 USD of today.Okaka

  7. Anonymous Reply


  8. Anonymous Reply

    He commite in nigeria before he was runing so if he finish saving in uk let them handover to nigeria to be deteyn so that politician we lean from it.

  9. Anonymous Reply

    why people are very bad look the case of ibori see how they treat him and there is people that do more than ibori

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