Monday, 11 October 2010

News Report: James Ibori's Associates Seek Presidency Intervention

James Ibori
With the ruling on the case for the extradition of former Delta State governor, Mr. James Ibori to the  United Kingdom(UK) fixed for Sunday 17th October, 2010 by a Dubai court, associates of Mr. Ibori have been making frantic efforts to get the Nigerian Presidency to use diplomatic channels to influence withdrawal of the charges in UK, in the event of the case being decided in favour of extradition, chidi opara reports have learnt.

The two pronged lobby, we learnt are from Delta state, Ibori's home state and Kano state. The Kano lobby group is led by a young road haulage tycoon friend of a prominent Kano politician who served as governor and minister. This politician is reported to be close to the family of late military ruler, General Sani Abacha. Ibori worked for the Abacha regime in a semi-official capacity prior to becoming governor.

The lobby group from Delta state is led by an Urhobo retired federal civil servant, James Ibori is an Urhobo. The Delta group is reported to be making efforts at the moment to see Ijaw leader and politician, Mr. E.K Clark, who is known to be one of the President's godfathers. This group chidi opara reports learnt would seek audience with the President after meeting with Mr. Clark.

The message, according to contacts close to both groups is that the Ibori and Abacha associates would work for the President's re-election in next year's Presidential election, if he would use diplomatic channels to get Ibori off the hook, should he be extradited. It is not yet known at the time of preparing this report if these groups have succeeded in getting appointments to see Clark and the President, a contact close to the Ijaw leader however told chidi opara reports that "I doubt the likelihood of such meeting". A Presidency insider when contacted replied, "we have not been contacted, although some contacts are made through unofficial channels".

Mr. Ibori who fled Nigeria in the aftermath of an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to answer allegations of corruption while in office was subsequently arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirate. He is also wanted in UK for money laundering and fraud.