British court convicts Nigerian ex-governor's accomplices

2nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A British court has convicted two Nigerian associates of a former state governor wanted for graft, money laundering and fraud worth millions of dollars, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Christie Ibori-Ibie was found guilty on Tuesday of money laundering by London's Southwark Crown Court.

She faced charges of aiding her brother James Ibori, the former governor of Delta state, who himself stands accused of siphoning nearly 300 million dollars of public funds in Nigeria.

Ibori was undergoing similar charges in London before he jumped bail last year.

The other convicted Nigerian was Udoamaka Onuigbo, a spokesman for the prosecution said.

"Ibori-Ibie was convicted of all eight counts yesterday," he said referring to money laundering and property fraud, adding that Onuigbo was convicted on three counts of money laundering.

Ibori, governor of the southern oil-rich Delta State between 1999 and 2007 and long considered a political heavyweight, is accused of embezzling 290 million dollars (230 million euros) of state funds and money laundering while he was in office.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is ranked among some of the most corrupt nations on earth.

Ibori was however arrested by Interpol last month in Dubai when he fled Nigeria after the country's anti-graft agency EFCC declared him wanted for alleged corruption and money laundering.

He already had an international arrest warrant hanging over him for corruption charges in Britain after the discovery of assets suspected to have been bought with stolen money.

He now faces extradition to London from Dubai.

© 2010 AFP

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