The UK has promised to return to Nigeria £4.2m ($5.8m) which was stolen by a former governor.
Former Delta State Governor James Ibori was convicted of money laundering in the UK in 2012.
Prosecutors say he stole an estimated £117m from the oil-rich state.
This is the first time that money recovered from criminals will be returned to Nigeria since an agreement was signed in 2016, the UK authorities say.
The UK and Nigerian governments signed an agreement on Tuesday for the £4.2m recovered by UK agencies to be sent back to Nigeria for infrastructure projects, including the Lagos to Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja to Kano road and the second Niger Bridge.
Who is James Ibori?
James Ibori went from petty thief to Nigerian state governor to convicted money launderer.
He went to the UK in the 1980s and worked as a cashier at a DIY store in London.
Ibori was convicted in 1991 for stealing from the store but then returned to Nigeria and got involved in politics.
When he ran for Delta State governor, he lied about his date of birth to hide his UK conviction – which would have prevented him standing for office.
He became governor in 1999 and soon began taking money from state coffers. Delta State is the source of much of Nigeria’s oil.
Why did the British authorities convict him?
The British police began to take an interest in Ibori again in 2005 after they came across a purchase order for a private jet, made through his solicitor in London.
He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police, but was eventually arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK.
He was convicted on 10 counts of fraud worth a total of nearly £50m in 2012. After his release in 2016, Ibori was placed straight into immigration detention.
The publication of the court judgement revealed a Home Office email which had recommended keeping him in immigration detention to buy time to work out how to recover at least £57m.
Once he was eventually released, he returned to Nigeria and sued the Home Office for unlawful detention.
Ibori won the case but was awarded just £1 compensation. In 2020 prosecutors in a UK court asked a judge to make a confiscation order against Ibori of £117.7m.
Court documents list several bank accounts owned by Ibori, as well as more than 10 properties around the world, ranging from flats on London’s famous Abbey Road to a £5m mansion in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has deployed policemen to beef up security around the cold store where the COVID-19 vaccines are kept in the Ikeja area of the state.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement on Wednesday that Odumosu, after inspecting the cold store, cautioned members of staff at the cold store to prevent unauthorised access to people who are not permitted on the premises of the store.
Adejobi said, “The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, inspected the Lagos State cold store, located in Ikeja, where the COVID-19 vaccines are being kept for adequate deployment of men and security of the vaccines.
“The CP, who was received by the Lagos State Immunisation Officer, Mrs Bola Orefejo and team, warned the staff at the cold store to be sensitive to the safety of the vaccines and ensure that unauthorised staff or individuals are not allowed into the premises of the cold store
“The police boss, however, directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, DCP Ahmed Kontangora, to deploy adequate police personnel to the facility and ordered the Area Commander, Area F, ACP Ali Zongo and Divisional Police Officer, Ikeja, CSP Taiwo Oyewale to personally supervise the men detailed to provide security for the staff and the vaccines accordingly.
“The CP also warned that the entire surroundings of the store be cordoned off while the entire area is made free of intruders.”
Pix: Ex Governor, James Ibori