Barely 24 hours after James Ibori bagged a 13-year jail term in the United Kingdom for money laundering, jubilation has turned to anger following reports of planned repatriation to Nigeria of the $250 million stolen by the former governor of Delta State.
Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora are protesting over plans to return the money to Delta State where the current governor, Mr Emmanuel Uduaghan, is Ibori’s cousin and “stooge”.
A statement by the UK-based Anioma Diaspora, a Nigerian socio-cultural and good governance campaign group, said that “returning Ibori’s loot to Delta State would be senseless and counter-productive in the light of the fact that the present governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, is a blood relation of Ibori.
They say the money would be stolen again from the poor people of Delta State by the same corrupt officials that Ibori brought in to succeed him or it will be in safe-keeping to be handed over to Ibori by his cousin the moment he walks out of the UK prison.
According to the spokesman of Anioma Diaspora, Mr Clement Ofodu, the money would not be used for the benefit of the long-suffering people of Delta State .
He added that the that the new governor has previously been indicted as Mr Ibori’s tag-team partner, having served for several years in Ibori’s cabinet first as Commissioner for Heath; then catapulted to a more strategic position of Secretary to State Government (SSG) and finally imposed on the poor people of Delta State as Ibori’s successor”.