James Ibori has been charged in Britain with 25 counts of money laundering and fraud

LONDON, April 15, 2011 (AFP) – James Ibori, the former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State, was charged Friday with 25 counts of money laundering and fraud in Britain, hours after he was extradited here from Dubai, police said. The 48-year-old had earlier arrived at London Heathrow airport escorted by officers from the extradition unit of Scotland Yard police, the force said. He had been detained in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, at the request of British police “on suspicion of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud”, a police statement said.

Ibori was taken to a west London police station and remanded in custody, where he was charged and ordered to appear in court on Saturday. “Former Nigerian Delta state governor James Ibori, 48, has today, Friday 15 April, been charged with 25 offences relating to money laundering and fraud,” police said in a later statement. “He will appear in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates’ court tomorrow on Saturday 16 April.” Ibori, governor between 1999 to 2007, was arrested in May last year in Dubai. He lost an appeal against a ruling that he should be extradited to Britain. The former governor is facing allegations that he stole $290 million (200 million euros) of public funds and of money laundering while he was in office.

Ibori is wanted by Britain after the discovery of assets suspected to have been bought with stolen money. In August 2007, British prosecutors successfully applied to freeze his worldwide assets, worth 35 million dollars. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is ranked among the most corrupt nations in the world.

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