EX- Delta State political guru Govornor James Ibori, recently released from a British prison after serving a sentence for corruption, is set to return home.
In line with normal British practice, Ibori was released in December after serving half of his 13-year sentence, taking into account pre-trial detention. He has now hinted of his plan to return to Nigeria within days
“What happens in African politics – you are in it until you die,” Ibori told Reuters in London yesterday.
“I am a politician, I will always be a politician. I play the politics in my party and in my country for the good of my people,” he said after a court hearing, part of ongoing legal proceedings in his case.
After his release, a video surfaced on YouTube of Ibori being feted in London by supporters including Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who said, to cheers, that Ibori had “made” the careers of several prominent Nigerian politicians while in prison.
Ibori declined to say whether this was true. “The prison telephone is meant for keeping in touch … so you can reintegrate when you come out,” he said.
Asked if he would run for office again, Ibori said he was barred from doing so for 10 years because of his conviction, but that he intended to appeal to have that conviction overturned.
The appeal would centre on an allegation, made by one of Ibori’s former associates, that a British police officer had taken bribes in return for inside information on the case before Ibori’s conviction, and that prosecutors had covered it up.
British police said the allegation was investigated, resulting in no arrests or charges.