Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, has indicated his intention to appeal a recent United Kingdom court ruling that mandates the confiscation of 101.5 million pounds associated with him.
The Judge David Tomlinson of the Southwark Crown Court issued the confiscation order and stipulated that Ibori must pay the sum immediately or face an eight-year jail sentence.
Responding to the ruling on his Facebook page, Ibori expressed his resolve to challenge the confiscation order, which stands as one of the largest ever imposed on an individual in recent British legal history.
The former governor, in his post, asserted his belief in justice and fairness prevailing eventually despite what he described as “logic-defying rulings” against him. He maintained that there is no evidence presented by British prosecutors of any funds being defrauded or missing from Delta State. Nevertheless, he remains determined to contest the court’s decision.
“The Judge, in this case, has appears to have cast aside any pretence of impartiality and has made an Order which is both wholly unrealistic and unrealisable. He has completely disregarded any arguments, evidence or expert witnesses in my favour.
“It was apparent during these last 2 days that he has forgotten many of the important elements of the case which is unsurprising as it almost 2 years since the case concluded. It has taken him 2 years to write this Judgment and in the interim he has presided over hundreds of cases, but I refuse to make excuses for him.
“At this point in time words fail me and so the question for me as I take my case to the Court of Appeal, is, if I continue to believe that I may finally get some Justice is this the definition of madness? I know one thing for sure, that if I do not go to the Court of Appeal to contest this outrageous Order then my people will definitely say that I am a madman,!” Ibori wrote on his FaceBook page.
Ibori’s legal battle dates back to 2011 when he was extradited from Dubai to London after fleeing Nigeria. The subsequent year, he pleaded guilty to 10 charges related to fraud and money laundering, leading to a 13-year prison sentence.
However, on December 21, 2016, Ibori was released from prison following a court order. His release was ordered by Judge Juliet May, leading to a victory against the British Home Office at the Royal Court of Justice, Queens Court 1, London.
The Home Office sought to keep Ibori detained even after he had completed his jail term, but the Crown Prosecution lawyer, Sian Davies, did not oppose his release and return to Nigeria.
As Ibori gears up to appeal the confiscation order, he expressed concern about the fairness and realism of the recent judgment, vowing to continue the fight in the Court of Appeal.
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