Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-86
James Ibori (United Kingdom)
Nigeria
Delta State Governor (1999-2007)
United Kingdom
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2008
Ongoing
Art.17, Art.20, Art.23
Yes
Criminal Prosecution and Forfeiture
Unspecified
Ongoing Case
Ongoing
Before Court of First Instance
Unspecified amounts restrained
Ongoing
N/A
According to media reports, the confiscation hearings in Mr. Ibori's case which was to take place in June 2016, has been adjourned. (Source:  Today (Nigeria), "London court suspends James Ibori's confiscation hearing," June 10, 2016.)   On June 4, 2008, the UK High Court issued a Restraint Order against properties, accounts and other assets owned and/or controlled by Governor Ibori and legal entities Haleway Properties Limited; Telaton Quays Limited, Stanhope Investments Limited, and  Erin Aviation Limited located within and outside of the United Kingdom.  (Source: IN THE MATTER OF James Onanefe IBORI, Restraint Order Prohibiting Disposal of Assets, UK High Court, Queen's Bench Division, June 4, 2008.).  In February 2012, in reporting on Mr. Ibori's guilty plea in the UK, the BBC News reported, "Some $35m of his alleged UK assets were frozen in 2007."  (Source:  BBC News, "Nigeria ex-Delta state governor James Ibori guilty plea," February 27, 2012.)   On November 17, 2008, the High Court also issued a Restraint Order against assets related to Bhadresh Gohil, including in India, Hong Kong and the UK.  (Source: IN THE MATTER OF Bhadresh Babulal Gohil, Restraint Order Prohibiting Disposal of Assets, UK High Court, Queen's Bench Division, November 17, 2008.)  

According to a May 2014 statement by Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, a lower court decision to strike out "all 170-count charge of money laundering preferred against former governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a three-man panel of justices at the Benin Division of the Court of Appeal today, May 15, 2014 ruled that the ex- governor who is currently serving a 13-year jail term in a London prison, has a case to answer."  (Source: EFCC, "Money Laundering:  Ibori Has Case to Answer - Appeals Court," May 15, 2014.) According to the US Department of Justice, "Governor Ibori was convicted in the United Kingdom of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced by a British court on April 18, 2012, to 13 years in prison." (Source: US Department of Justice Press Release, "U.S. Restrains More Than $3 Million in Corruption Proceeds Related to Former Governor of Nigeria," July 23, 2012.)

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
N/A
Court of Appeals, Benin Division
London Metropolitan Police, Proceeds of Corruption Unit
Crown Prosecution Service
High Court, Queen's Bench