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As ex-gov James Ngilari gets jail term, so what happens to ex-gov James Ibori?

A High Court in Yola, Adamawa State, has convicted and jailed the immediate past Governor of the state, Bala James Ngilari to five years without an option of fine for what has been termed “executive lawlessness.” Not public looting, see? It is unusual to have a Nigerian ex-governor convicted or sentenced to jail by a Nigerian court.

Late Diepreye Alamieseigha, a former Governor of Bayelsa State, and James Onanefe Ibori, former Governor of Delta State, were both accused of grand looting of their states’ treasuries. One jumped bail, the other went to jail. But neither of them were tried in any Nigerian court. It was the British courts that made an open show of their massive corruption cases at different times.

It is good for the country that Ngilari is likely to be jailed, but then anything can still happen. He can appeal all the way to the Supreme Court and get a reprieve, you never know with us in Nigeria. We don’t jail our mega thieves; we hail them like a huge crowd hailed Ibori in his hometown when he came out of a London jail. But what did Ngilari steal compared to those before or after him, really? Before we cross compare him with Alams and Ibori, here is his offence…

Delivering judgement,  Musa, said Ngilari violated the Public Procurement Act of the state by awarding contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles for his commissioners at the cost of N167 million, without following due process. He said Ngilari’s action amounted to executive lawlessness, adding that that the five years was the least he could give Ngilari.

Musa said that Ngilari would serve the sentence in a prison of his choice in the country “but for, now he should start with Yola prison… It is my hope that this conviction and sentence will serve as deterrent to serving governors,” he said.

Speaking to newsmen before he was whisked away, Ngilari said that he would appeal the sentence. Meanwhile, take a look at the cases of corruption stacked against Alams and Ibori compared to Ngilari.

Alamieyeseigha, a retired Squadron Leader of the Nigerian Air Force, was detained in London on charges of money laundering in September 2005. Upon his arrest, Metropolitan police found about one million pounds in his London home. Later they found a total of £1.8m in cash and bank accounts. He was found to own four homes in London worth an alleged £10 million. His state’s monthly federal allocation for six years prior had been in the order of £32 million. He jumped bail in December 2005 from the United Kingdom by allegedly disguising himself as a woman. Alamieyeseigha was impeached on allegations of corruption on 9 December 2005.[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Source: Wikipedia]

Upon his return from London jail, Ibori says on church altar: I am not a thief
Upon his return from London jail, Ibori says on church altar: ‘I am not a thief’
Ibori and wife giving thanks like saints
Ibori and wife giving thanks like saints

Convicted fraudster and former Nigerian state governor James Ibori has been released, despite attempts by the home secretary to detain him in prison.
He was due for release on Tuesday, having agreed to be deported after serving half of his 13-year sentence. Ibori, a former London DIY store cashier, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50m in April 2012. He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police but was arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK – where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police. The figure relating to Ibori’s “proceeds of crime” has been amended from £18m to £89m in line with the court transcript. [Source: BBC.CO.UK]

Compared to the public files of James Ibori, his namesake Ngilari looks like a saint.

Ibori and his crowd
James Onanefe Ibori and his crowd

When Ibori landed in Nigeria, he wasn’t treated like an ex-Con. He was welcomed in his hometown, Oghara by thousands of hangers on, like a hero. Before his arrival, seven black Prado jeeps and five Hilux vans and about 10 mobile policemen arrived the airport to wait for him.

HAMILTONSTYLE has it on good authority that even Ibori’s tumultous Oghara welcome would pale into insignificance compared to a planned March 11 state welcome for him. Would the Buhari administration allow this to fly and still claim to fight corruption in all honesty?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


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