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Wickes cashier turned Nigerian governor who ‘looted’ public purse faces confiscation order



A WICKES cashier who became a Nigerian governor and then ‘looted’ the people he represented faces paying back nearly £117million.

James Ibori, 62, had rigged contracts and lifted cash from public funds, helped by his wife, mistress, sister and corrupt officials, a confiscation hearing at Southwark crown court was told. He bought luxuries including a £13million jet, a £600,000 fleet of Range Rovers, a £120,000 Bentley and properties in London.

He was jailed in the UK after admitting money laundering and fraud in 2012, but later returned to Nigeria.

Luxury lifestyle: Ibori’s Bentley, and (below) one of his Range Rovers

Ibori claims he made his fortune legitimately. But he now faces paying back £116,821,955. And his mistress, Udoamaka Onuigbo — who was jailed for money laundering with his wife Theresa and sister Christine — may have to repay £2.6million.

Ibori, who appeared in court with Onuigbo via video link yesterday, moved to London in the 1980s, and worked at Wickes. After a conviction for stealing, he returned to Nigeria and scaled the government ranks to become governor of Delta State in 1999.

Jailed: Onuigbo (left) and Theresa Ibori

‘Mr Ibori cheated his way into the position,’ prosecutor Jonathan Kinnear QC said. ‘He abused his position of trust by systematically looting funds.’

But Ivan Krolick, representing Ibori, said his wealth was down to being a ‘successful businessman’.

The hearing continues.

High life: One of Ibori’s London assets
In the family: House owned by sister
Spoils: Mistress had property in UK

Metro News

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