Ibori wins right to hear case, promises to return soon
Former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori, has won his bid to halt the transfer of his case to another court in London.
Ibori, who completed his prison sentence in December 2016, said he would soon return to Nigeria.
A statement by his media aide, Tony Eluemunor, said he won the attempt by the British Secretary of State for the Home Office to transfer the case.
According to him, the plan by the British government was to withdraw the case from Court 5, before Mr. Justice Garnham, to either the Queen’s Bench Division or the Crown Court.
Ibori’s counsel had argued that this was a delay tactic by the Crown and the Judge refused to grant the transfer, insisting that the case would remain in his Royal Court of Justice.
The pending case is to determine the amount that Britain would pay Ibori as compensation when he was prevented by the prison authorities from leaving on the exact day that his sentence ended.
He said: “Ibori was unlawfully and illegally detained by a day, while further seeking for ways to deny him his freedom by locking him up.
The two sides in the matter will make their final statements on the amount of damages to be awarded to Ibori for the alleged detention.”
The statement added that Ibori told a BBC’s Mark Eastman outside the court on Tuesday that he was planning to appeal his conviction and return to Nigeria.
When asked how soon he would return, Ibori was quoted to have said, “as soon as possible, may be in a matter of days.”
Eluemunor disclosed that Ibor’s case would be mentioned this week Friday at the Southwark London Court for the Judge to be fully informed on the development.
The case is to inform them of the disclosure process and to ascertain if everybody convicted in the Ibori and related cases would be appealing.