The former Delta State governor, James Ibori on Monday pleaded guilty in a UK court to laundering millions of dollars paving the way for his sentencing by April 16.
His plea effectively cut short what would have been a 12-week trial involving dozens of witnesses as the prosecution has said a full trial was no longer necessary.
Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 counts related to money laundering and fraud before the the Southwark Crown Court in London where he appeared on two separate indictments. He however pleaded not guilty to other 13 counts.
Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said the once influential politician had “tricked” his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record.
“He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state’s wealth and hand out patronage.” Sasha said.
Prior to Ibori’s arraignment, his wife-Theresa, his sister-Christine, friend-Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering.