Chief James Ibori, former governor of Delta State, has said the Wikileaks report published by a newspaper, weekend, that he engaged a lobbyist to arrange for him to set up humanitarian funds in return for extra-legal settlements of cases against him, was “a lie by manipulators to mislead the gullible and the unwary.”
Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant, said in a statement, yesterday, that Ibori never engaged anyone to lobby any government to make a deal of any kind on any charge he may have faced or he is still facing.
Iboiri said in the statement that “only the former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Renee Sanders and her Nigerian collaborators would know how they came by the phantom unnamed American businessman, who not only would tell them such a preposterous idea, but would also mention the absurd amount of $3 billion- N450 billion.”
He said: “Delta State’s monthly allocation in May 2007, Ibori’s last month in office was N7billion. Assuming that to be the monthly average allocation, what accrued to Delta during Ibori’s 96 months of four-year two terms would be about N672 billion.
So the absurdity of the claim that Ibori could have cornered more than N450bn out of a total of about N670 bn was not clear to Ambassador Sanders or the writer of that newspaper story, remains a mystery. And this number was not dropped by any phantom businessman or tale bearing Ambassador but came from the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance and is available on the internet.
“The dispatch by Sanders is obviously part of the international conspiracy against Ibori, whom the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, declared wanted even before he was ever invited by the agency.
“This dispatch shows the extent of the plot against Ibori, who in the end was chased out of Nigeria in a thinly disguised political persecution,” the statement added.