Ibori wins suit against British Secretary of State challenging his detention
Former Governor of Delta State James Onanefe Ibori yesterday won a case against the British Secretary of State for the Home Department. The costs to be paid by the Home Department, as ordered by the court, would be determined later.
Ibori’s Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor said the victory came when Mrs. Justice Bobbie Cheema-Grubb DBE of Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, agreed with the submissions of Ibori’s counsel, Mr. Ian Macdonald QC and Mr. Ivan Krolick that though the former governor was due for release, he was still maliciously detained on December 20 and 21, 2016.
On December 21, 2016, Ibori’s application for urgent consideration against the detention was heard before a High Court judge who ordered his immediate release.
That day, the judge also granted Ibori permission to file claims against the Secretary of State of British Home Department, who was required to file detailed grounds of resistance to the claim and ordered that a substantive hearing should be listed by January 31, 2017 unless the defendant issued directions for the claimant’s removal by 4:00p.m on January 6, 2017.
Ibori was eventually released on December 21, 2016, after a day and 18 hours of detention by the immigration. On December 30, Ibori’s solicitors wrote to the Home Department seeking her acquiescence to his voluntary departure to Nigeria, a request that was not granted. They wrote again on January 5, 2017.
The day after receipt of this latest letter, the Home Department made an application to the Court requesting further seven days in which to decide on Ibori’s request for voluntary departure. On January 13, 2017, the defendant decided to allow Ibori to depart the United Kingdom voluntarily.
Refuting reports that Ibori was deported from Britain, Eluemunor presented a quote from the judgment: “The Secretary State for the Home Department agreed that Ibori could leave the jurisdiction and he did so on February 3, 2017 under his own steam.”
“From this, it is crystal clear that Ibori was not deported from Britain but returned voluntarily,” Eluemunor said.