Dubai to extradite Nigerian ex-governor to Britain: report

26th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A former Nigerian official arrested in Dubai by Interpol on charges of siphoning off millions of dollars of state assets is due to be extradited to Britain, a local newspaper reported on Monday

James Ibori, governor of the southern oil rich Delta between 1999 to 2007, who was arrested in May, "will soon be extradited to London," Gulf News quoted a police source as saying.

Dubai police were not immediately available to confirm the report.

Ibori is charged with embezzling 290 million dollars (230 million euros) of public funds and money laundering while he was in office.

An international arrest warrant was issued against the ex-governor who also faces corruption charges in Britain after the discovery of assets suspected to have been bought with stolen money.

On August 2, 2007, prosecutors made a successful "application of restraint" at Southwark Crown Court in London "in relation to worldwide assets worth 35 million dollars belonging to James Ibori," London police had said upon Ibori's arrest.

This bid to freeze his assets succeeded.

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

Around a dozen former governors who served under ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo had been arrested in recent years for corruption.

Governors of Nigeria's 36 states control millions of dollars of public funds, at times larger than budgets of neighbouring countries.

© 2010 AFP

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