Former Nigerian governors lawyer to have $36 mln seized – London court

A London court on Monday ruled that an ex-lawyer of former Nigerian state governor James Ibori must pay approximately 28 million pounds ($36 million) for assisting in concealing funds acquired through illegal means.

Ibori’s former lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was convicted in 2010 on 13 counts of money laundering and other offenses connected to his involvement in aiding James Ibori, the former governor of Delta State in southern Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, to conceal the proceeds from criminal activities.

According to Britain’s Crown Prosecution Office, Bhadresh Gohil, who received a 10-year prison sentence in 2010 and served half of it, has been directed on Monday to pay a sum slightly exceeding 28 million pounds. If he fails to comply, he could face an additional six-year sentence.

The decision follows the recent order against James Ibori, who used his position to amass wealth and launder millions of pounds in Britain and other locations. Ibori was directed on Friday to pay 101.5 million pounds ($130 million) or potentially face an eight-year sentence.

Currently in Nigeria, Ibori has expressed his intention to appeal against his confiscation order, which stands as one of the most substantial ever imposed on an individual in recent British legal history.

Due to lengthy court delays and legal disputes in London, the confiscation process has spanned over a decade since Ibori’s conviction.

Britain has made a commitment to repatriate any funds retrieved from Ibori or Gohil back to Nigeria. In 2021, it fulfilled this promise by returning 4.2 million pounds, which had been confiscated from Ibori’s ex-wife and his sister, both of whom had also served prison sentences for aiding him.

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