Nigerian ex-governor extradited to Britain

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James Ibori, the former governor of Nigeria's oil-rich Delta State, was on Friday extradited from the United Arab Emirates to Britain, where he is wanted for alleged corruption.

The 48-year-old arrived at London Heathrow Airport escorted by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit, the British police headquarters said.

He had been detained in Dubai at Scotland Yard's request "on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud", a police statement said.

"He has been taken to a west London police station where he remains in custody."

Ibori, governor between 1999 to 2007, was arrested in May last year in Dubai. He lost an appeal against a ruling that he should be extradited to Britain.

The former governor is facing allegations that he stole $290 million (200 million euros) of public funds and of money laundering while he was in office.

Ibori is wanted by Britain after the discovery of assets suspected to have been bought with stolen money.

In August 2007, British prosecutors successfully applied to freeze his worldwide assets, worth 35 million dollars.

Ibori's wife, sister and mistress have already been convicted for assisting the former governor in the alleged crimes.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is ranked among the most corrupt nations in the world.

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

© 2011 AFP

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