Nigeria (Blank NEWS Online) –By Albert OGRAKA:
Anxiety mixed with joy has enveloped Delta state, as former governor of oil and gas wealthy Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has returned to Nigeria after his release from a United Kingdom prison.
But a closed-in source has confirmed to Blank NEWS Online that James Ibori was picked up by officials of the Diepartment of State Security (DSS) for a friendly chat with the DG in Abuja.
He is said to have arrived Nigeria via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the early hours, and would later fly to the southern port city of Warri in Delta state.
He would be received at the airstrip by supporters and sympathisers who have lined up to welcome him back.
“A chartered private plane will fly him to Warri and he will land at Osubi airport where he would be received by both well wishers and sympathizers. For now, it is going to be a quiet ceremony. An elaborate reception will be organised later for him at Oghara, his hometown,” said Ighoyota Amori, a former political adviser to Ibori.
Also, Ibori’s media aide, Tony Eluemunor, also confirmed his arrival, saying only: “He is in town. I will keep you posted later.”
Meanwhile, parts of Delta state, especially Oghara in Ethiope West local government area, Ibori’s home town is agog as preparations have been put in place to give him a rousing state welcome, Chairman of the council, Hon. Ejaife Odebala has said .
Ibori, 57, who was governor of the oil-rich Delta state between 1999 and 2007 was released in London in December after serving over four years of a 13-year jail term in the UK.
Ibori was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly 50 million pounds (at the time $78.5 million/62 million euros) following a drawn-out extradition procedure and his evasion of arrest and prosecution in Nigeria. He had fled to Dubai in 2010, from where he was extradited to Britain.
Opinions are however, divided in Nigeria itself about whether Ibori should face a fresh trial on his return given the strong anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He is said to have influenced the election of the current Delta state governor and other politicians during his time in prison.