Britain weighs another fraud charge against Ibori

James Ibori

James Ibori

Britain’s leading fraud prosecutor is evaluating materials alleging that United
Kingdom (UK) aid might have been channeled to companies linked to the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is serving a jail term in the UK, a top government lawyer said yesterday.

“As part of that review, it “Serious Fraud Office) said it was examining whether there is any indication of an offence falling within the criminal jurisdiction of
England and Wales as opposed to criminal jurisdictions overseas,” Reuters quoted the Solicitor-General, Oliver Heald, as writing in response to a
parliamentary question.

However, Heald added: “No formal decision has yet been made in relation to this matter and no investigation has been opened.”

The Serious Fraud Office confirmed that it had received material from the UK
Department for International Development in February but that it was too soon to say whether it would launch an investigation.

A full-blown investigation could be an embarrassment to Prime Minister David Cameron, who brushed aside criticism at home last year to increase development aid – aimed at alleviating some of the world’s most abject poverty by nearly a
third – to $19 billion at a time of
austerity at home.

Ibori, who governed oil-producing Delta State from 1999 to 2007, was jailed for 13 years in Britain in 2012 after pleading guilty to 10 counts of money
laundering and fraud in one of the biggest embezzlement cases

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