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Despite expected release tomorrow, Ibori not coming home

How the UK conspired to convict Ibori, Gohil, others - Govt’s role
James Onanefe Ibori.

Former Delta state Governor, James Onanefe Ibori, who has completed his jail term in London and is due to be released tomorrow has dispelled rumours that he is returning to Nigeria immediately.

Chief Ibori, in a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, called on his well-wishers to disregard the rumours.

A section of the media had speculated that the former governor, whose conviction and jail for corruption and money laundering in the United Kingdom has taken different turns in recent times, would return to Nigeria on December 23.

“When the time comes, any important information will be made available to the public and nothing would be left for conjecture,” Ibori said.

‘Ribadu’s excesses, not me, removed him from office’

Chief Ibori also in the statement berated an online news platform for dragging his name into the Senate refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as chair of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

According to Chief Ibori, “What makes it galling is that the matter under contention was the Department of State Security’s report that stopped the Senate from confirming Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and did not warrant the dragging in of my name at all”.

Chief Ibori particularly took exception to a report in Premium Times which said “based on pressure from political gladiators of the period (among which were former Governors James Ibori and Bukola Saraki), then President Musa Yar’Adua unceremoniously removed Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the EFCC”.

Ibori explained his position that Governor Nasir el-Rufai has exposed this claim as a terrible lie in his book, The Accidental Public Servant, adding that el-Rufai stated the source of the trouble the former EFCC chair, Ribadu had with President Musa Yar’Adua.

“On page 358, in a section entitled ‘Umaru Asks Nuhu for Support: the Beginning of Our Trouble’ he (el-Rufai) wrote that Ribadu was so maddened that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had favoured Yar’Adua above Nasir el-Rufai to succeed him as President in 2007 that he told Yar’Adua to his face: “Well, Obasanjo has not told me, and as far as the presidency is concerned, I have my candidate for president, and that is El-Rufai”.

“El-Rufai continued on page 359: ‘It took sometime before Nuhu figured out Obasanjo’s games and what was really happening. Nuhu’s instinctive reaction was that of a typical policeman – dust off EFCC’s files and comb for petitions against Umaru. Nuhu did not realize it at that time, but he was the one in trouble not Obasanjo or Umaru. He dusted off all the files against Umaru and launched investigations.  He was clearly trying to take Yar’Adua out of the race and narrow all options to zero except for El-Rufai,” Ibori said.

Ibori continued: “It is clear that from El-Rufai’s that there was no way a clear-headed Yar-Adua would have appointed a power-drunken Ribadu, who had unjustly arrested some Katsina state’s LGA chairmen just to demonize Yar’Adua to remain as EFCC Chairman, to continue to arrest people unjustly, play politics with his office and hypocritically claim to be fighting corruption when he was neck deep in the worst corruption, maligning others just because of politics.

“Ribadu’s excesses, not me, removed him from office,” Ibori said.

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