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James Ibori, Ex-Wickes Worker Who Became Nigerian Governor, Jailed For 13 Years

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Ibori will be sentenced later today at Southwark Crown Court
Ibori will be sentenced later today at Southwark Crown Court

James Ibori, the former governor of Delta state, Nigeria, who started his career as a cashier at Wickes has been jailed for 13 years at Southwark Crown Court, London, after admitting fraud totalling nearly £50 million.

Ibori, who pleaded guilty to the charges worked at the Ruislip branch of the company, before he left the country to return to his native Nigeria, where he chased a lucrative, powerful career in politics.

He became a state governor in 1999, and, Sky News reports, spent up to £126,000 a month on "a luxury lifestyle, including running a fleet of armoured Range Rovers."

Ibori pleaded guilty to a number of charges, one of conspiracy to launder money, five of money laundering, one of obtaining property through deception totalling £25m worth of fraud while he was governor of Nigeria's Delta state.

He also admitted to another charge of money laundering linked to a larger case involving a £23.3m share fraud scheme, as well as two further charges.

His wife, sister, mistress and solicitor have all already been sent to prison for their role in his schemes.

It is believed that he also used a fake passport to stand to stand as governor for the People's Democratic Party in 1999, in order to hide a criminal record that would've prevented him from being elected.

Ibori was only arrested when he was caught trying to buy a £12m airplane. He as then extradited to the UK in 2011, when it was estimated that he was responsible for up to £157m worth of fraud in the country.

Prosecutor Sasha Wass said of Ibori: "From the moment he was elected he set out enriching himself at the expense of some of the poorest people in the world. His greed increased exponentially during the course of his governorship as did his arrogance.""

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