FG Bars Ibori’s Visitors

The Federal Government has banned further visits to the former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, currently in Kaduna Prison over money laundering.

A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna remanded him in prison custody following his arraignment for more than 100 corrupt charges.

Our correspondents learnt that the ban became necessary so as not to compromise the security of the prisons.

The government issued the directive banning visitors to the former governor on Friday to the Comptroller of the Prison, Alhaji Momoh Momodu.

It was discovered that the prison officials swiftly moved to enforce the directive as they rebuffed desperate attempts by some prospective visitors to have access to the politician.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on December 13 arraigned Ibori for allegedly defrauding the state of more than N9bn.

He and four others were arraigned on a 103-count charge of money laundering and abuse of office.

The commission, in one of the charges, alleged that on April 26, 2007, the former governor made a cash payment of N1.8bn ($15m) to EFCC investigators in order to influence their investigation.

Ibori is due to appear on January 11 at the Federal High Court in Kaduna over corruption charges.

However, some members of the Delta State House of Assembly were lucky on Friday as they were able to visit him before the directive took effect.

But another team, led by the Majority Leader in the House, Chief Efe Afe, were turned back because of the ban.

Momodu confirmed the new security measures when he received eight members of the House in his office on Friday morning

He told them that he had just received very strict orders from Abuja to stop such visits.

The Majority Leader was said to have made spirited efforts to persuade Momoh to allow the team to see Ibori since some legislators from the House had the opportunity to do so a few hours before the team arrived.

But the comptroller said he could not flout the directive from Abuja, banning further visits to the former governor.

When our correspondent contacted him in his office Friday, Momoh confirmed the ban. However, he declined to expatiate on the reasons for the ban.

“I am sorry about the development. I have just received orders from Abuja, and there are very firm text messages on my phone to that effect. The order is that there should be no more visits until further notice,” Momoh stressed.

But Dr. Festus Okubor, who served as the Commissioner of Health and Information under Ibori, told our correspondent that some of the expected visitors to Ibori included members of his legal team. “Chief Ibori himself has said that he will like to see his legal team,” Okubor said.

“But because of his health condition, it is necessary for him to have enough rest. You will also understand that the Kaduna Prison only has limited manpower to monitor visitors. So, they had a deliberate decision to bring down the number of visitors, but it is not a matter of state policy. But in the meantime, like every detainee, he is entitled to see visitors he wants to see. So, the issue of restrictions will not arise,” he said.

However, in a contradiction, Okubor said the associates of the former governor had advised him to reduce the number of his visitors because of his bad health.

He said, “Because of his health condition, and the fear that it may deteriorate, we have advised that the number of visitors be controlled. Ibori has been sick for a very long time; he has been hypertensive for a very long time. When he was in office, in 2005 or 2006, there was a time we almost lost him; he had to be flown abroad. Those symptoms are recurring.

– The Punch


3 responses to “FG Bars Ibori’s Visitors

  1. Dr. Chinwike Justice Oke-Nwosu

    If my knowledge of prison term of Nigeria corrupt politicians is anything to go by, the ban is just a public stunt.

    For all we care, Ibori may be having fun and good rest in his incaceration. Prison terms will not stop these thieves and the future ones or the ones in power stealing as never before.

    What these hard hearted criminals without shame and decency deserve is capital punishment. We need someone that will storm seat of power and prisons where they are blow them away. For corruption to stop in Nigeria, there should be a high price tag on the posts. That is the only way to stir people away from enriching themselves at the expense of the people.

    As Ibori and his ilks feed fat, millions of Nigeria children die in ill equiped hospitals from preventable diseases. In today’s Nigerian, maternal deaths during child birth soar and life span of average Nigerians is at its lowest for decades. Youths in Nigeria continue to face uncertainty and bleak futures. Unemployment continues to rise and the nations daily haemorrhages its professionals and other valuable human potentials as these people move to other regions of the world in search of better life.

    All these unfortunate scenarios are occasioned by maladministration and greed of the likes of Obasanjo, Babaginda, Ibori and their cronies who have plundered the nation.

    To avert the trend therefore, these rogues should be made to pay heavy price. We cannot bring back to life children, men and women who perished and were buried as a result of these politicians’ evil conducts, but at least by getting rid off these politicians, we may prevent many more dying.

  2. l am very sorry that l go on like a broken record but our problem is one of lack of nationhood.if only the nation will start from this premise i can assure you most of our problems will be alleviated.just think about it.if we have nationhood,we will value our citizens as human beings,we don’t presently.it will enable us to take pride in our nation,we only have that during football,even that is tribalistic.we will be more competitive collectively,at the moment it is about the self .we will be more inclusive thus looking out for graft and all untoward matters.we will be more efficient in the use of our resources,the alledged misappropriation of funds by the previous administration could good a long way in ensuring that ALL states have access to dialysis machines say at no cost instead of the prohibitive costs,giving the high incidence of diabetes amongst us.we will have a more educated and articulate labour force and smoother economic development,at the moment the youth are not sure which way is up whilst charlatans are masqurading as messiahs.we will be more resoucreful and l don’t mean 419.we will celebrate our difference ,of which there are many,highlighting the fact that we are a blessed entity.there will be no need to steal and run because we will have harmony.this is not s dream.it comes with nationhood.without it,officials will steal divisions will be brought to the fore and opportunities will be lanquished.my fellow nigerians the choice is ours.

  3. Ibori, Welcome to Prison. Lady Justice is catching on you, Ah, you even has a surplus $15M to bribe. You are heartless. All the area boys you employed to create problems can not stop justice. Yar’Aladura cannot help you .His plot to free you by removing Ribadu is now known. You will rot in Jail. You enjoy while armed robbers are after all helpless Nigerian because they have no Jobs since people like you have made Nigria empty. SHAAAMEE on you.

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