Says “I Wasn’t Deported”
Former Delta State Governor- Chief James Onanefe Ibori, on Monday said he has no Twitter Account at all.
In a statement by his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, the former Governor of Delta State noted reports “that a Twitter handle in his name (@ChiefIbori), with his picture too, has been trending on the internet.”
The warning, the statement continued, is “to warn Nigerians not to fall victim to the fraudster who created that Twitter Account for whatever reason. We can only suspect that a confidence trickster must have created that account to lure incredulous Nigerians into a 419 trap.”
Checks by THEPOST on Monday evening however threw up five James Ibori twitter accounts as follows: @ChiefIbori, @James_Ibori, @JamesIbori111, @lordjio1 and @realjamesibori.
While @lordjio1 is yet to post anything original, @ChiefIbori on Sunday posted: “The energy yesterday was electrifying and intimidating. I’m grateful,” a twitter that attracted 84 replies, 86 retweets and 73 likes.
This was followed on Sunday, February 5, by another tweet accompanied with a video of his return: “I’m excited to reunite with my people. The strength of any politician lies in hands of his followers,” which got 87 replies, 161 retweets and 125 likes.
A day earlier, the fraudster, masquerading as the ex-governor tweeted: “Good morning Nigerians. #myfirstTweet.” It got 140 replies, 123 retweets and 93 likes.
However, @JamesIbori111 seems the oldest of the lot, baring posts as old as April 21, 2015. On May 17, 2015, the handler tweeted: “freedom is all that matters in Life. it can’t be compared to wealth or fame.”
In Monday’s statement, Eluemunor noted: “Please, Chief Ibori would like the general public to disregard that account and to stop assessing the Twitter handle over matters or discussions affecting him as he neither nor those working for him created that Twitter handle or has ever commented on it. The Twitter administrators have been advised to shut down the account and whenever Ibori sees the need to create a Twitter account, the public would be so advised.”
Also, the former governor corrected the impression created by some news reports that he was deported from the UK, stressing that: “Even though I had wanted to publicise my return to Nigeria so that wrong meanings would not be read into the public interest I knew my presence in Nigeria would elicit, and also because I never wanted any crowd that would gather because of me to disturb a single Nigerian in the course of their duties, all my efforts to keep the trip secret failed. The airline that brought me into Nigeria is public knowledge, so too, my disembarkation Airport.”
“So, it would be easy to verify that I was not deported because the deporting country’s officials would always hand over deportees to Nigerian Immigration officials and documents would also be exchanged. Those who have chosen to report lies, and claim that I was deported know that no document exists anywhere in the world to back up those malicious claims.
“Most of all, a record of documented letters between Ibori’s solicitors and the British Home off exist which proves beyond all reasonable doubts that Ibori was granted leave to exit Britain “voluntarily”, and he announced, as was reported by both the Reuters and the BBC, and several Nigerian news outlets that he would return to Nigeria in a matter of days. He did not announce the exact day so as to avoid the situation that would result in crowd control challenges for the security services,” the statement added.
Chief Ibori had last week Tuesday, January 31, confirmed in his last court appearance in Britain that he will appeal his conviction, because the trial was riddled with corruption, among other reasons.
The court could not fix a date for confiscation hearing in deference to Ibori’s impending appeal, and so adjourned hearing till 17th March; so the confiscation hearing will not start till after the appeal against Ibori’s conviction. This remains one of Ibori’s greatest victories since the London case started.
Ibori’s counsel requested for the adjournment in the hope that the appeal would have been filed before March 17, thereby putting the confiscation hearing on hold.