Punch: Delta paid Ibori N250m in UK prison — Investigation
by Eniola Akinkuotu and Ovie Okpare
The Delta State Government paid former Governor James Ibori N250m while he was in jail in the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2016,an investigation has revealed.
It was learnt that Ibori, who was accused of stealing over £250m, was entitled to life pension being a former governor of the oil-rich state.
The ex-governor, who served between 1999 and 2007, was able to sign into law the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 which was later amended in 2009.
The law makes provision for an ex-governor to be paid N50m per year among other perks.
Defending the payment of the money to Ibori in 2012, the then Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ohgeah, said Ibori would continue to be paid N50m until a court nullified his tenure in office.
Ogeah said this in reaction to an affidavit deposed to by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which accused the state government of enriching the ex-governor.
He said, “The truth is that like every other elected governor who had served the state, Ibori was paid his pension entitlement and other benefits alongside his deputy under existing law. The law is the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 and the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits (Amendment) Law 2009.”
Calculations by one of our correspondents showed that for the five years Ibori spent in the UK prison, he was paid N250m by the state government.