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UK set to repatriate £6.8m Ibori loot to Nigeria

UK set to repatriate £6.8m Ibori loot to Nigeria
November 05
06:58 2014

The United Kingdom government says it will return an additional £6.8 million of the confiscated loot of James Ibori, the former Delta state governor.

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Rupert Broad, UK metropolitan police senior investigator, disclosed this on Tuesday. at a meeting in the house of commons in London.

While speaking on UK and Nigeria’s anti-corruption partnership, Broad said: “Out of the £8 million pounds confiscated from Ibori, £1.2 million had so far been returned to Nigeria, while the rest was waiting for redistribution as to when it would be sent back to Nigeria.”

He also said an additional £80 million pounds had been temporarily confiscated from Ibori and his associates, including Patrice Gohil, one of his lawyers.

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“Approximately, £80 million is temporarily frozen and a confiscation hearing has been fixed for April 2015, where the judge will determine how much was stolen, after which it would be returned to Nigeria.”

In April 2012, the British Southcrown court sentenced Ibori to 13 years jail term for fraud and money laundering.

Broad, who attributed the success of the Ibori case to partnership with the nation’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), said the case signified Nigeria’s commitment to the fighting corruption.

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“In the light of the Ibori case, Nigeria has done a fantastic job in tackling corruption,” he said.

“Corruption does not go away easily; addressing it requires continuous process and the UK metropolitan police will continue to collaborate with Nigerian authorities on cross border international investigation.”

Similarly, Nsikan Etuk, the director of the UK Nigeria police forum, said that the Diaspora was a powerful tool for the reformation of the nation’s police force.

Etuk, who spoke on “supporting policing in Nigeria”, expressed the commitment of the forum for collaborating with government in tackling challenges impeding efficiency in policing in the country.

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He said that the forum, whose membership included serving and retired police personnel, was established following challenges facing the Nigerian community in the UK.

Kunle Bamgbose, the Nigerian deputy high commissioner to the UK, said the nation’s police officers were among the brightest in Africa, and they were only impeded by operational challenges.

“Inadequate equipment such as communication gadgets, the lack of efficient forensic laboratories and other logistic problems are some of the challenges facing the police force,” he said.

Bamgbose, however, said it was difficult to impose UK policing culture in Nigeria because of the difference in environments.

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According to him, partnership in training and capacity building of officers will be an ideal area of collaboration.

The meeting, which had participants from the Nigerian community, was chaired by Meg Hillier, the chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria.

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