FG urged to facilitate Ibori’s release from London jail

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OGHARA—MORE than one year after former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, was convicted by a London court, his kinsmen and key political stakeholders in Delta State have called on the Federal Government to facilitate his release and subsequent return to Nigeria, describing him as an epitome of infrastructural and human capital development in the state.

Niger Delta activist and Warri chief, Ayirimi Emami, who was among stakeholders that spoke to newsmen in Oghara, the country home of Chief Ibori, shortly after a novelty football match organised to celebrate the former governor’s 55th birthday, described his travail as political, adding that Ibori developed the youths, roads and other infrastructure to better the lots of Deltans.

Chief Emami, Chairman of Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, IRDC, said: “Despite being in prison, if Ibori happens to contest election now, he will win because he is a man of the people.”

Delta State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Ben Igbakpa, an aide to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Faith Majemite, a member on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Mr. Henry Ofa and other top political office holders in Delta State, who also bared their minds described the huge turn-out of people at the novelty football match played at the Oghara township stadium between Ibori United of Oghara and Ibori United of Warri as a testament of the ex governor’s popularity and developmental strides while he was in the saddle as Delta State chief executive.

An Oghara indigene, Simon Otobo opined that the Urhobo, who prayed for Ibori’s arrest were  now regretting doing so because of the political gulf his absence was causing the Urhobo nation and pleaded for leniency on the part of the Nigerian and British governments.

An elderly woman and a commercial motorcycle rider, Omoko Rose and Edafewogho Ekawhen, respectively, commended the former governor for developing Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state and appealed to the Federal Government to work towards Ibori’s release, noting that it would help stabilise the polity.

Delta State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Ben Igbakpa, an aide to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Faith Majemite, a member in the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Mr. Henry Ofa and other top political office holders in Delta State, who also bared their minds described the huge turn-out of people at the novelty football match played at the Oghara township stadium between Ibori United of Oghara and Ibori United of Warri as a testament of the ex governor’s popularity and developmental strides while he was in the saddle as Delta State chief executive.

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