A UK court convicted Ibori of fraud in 2012, and he was in prison until December.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s media assistant, said: “The British government had attempted to withdraw the case from court five, before Justice Garnham to either the Queen’s Bench Division or the Crown Court. Ibori’s lawyers argued that this was a delay tactic by the Crown and the judge refused to grant the transfer, insisting that the case will remain in his Royal court of justice”.
“This time, the case before the court on Tuesday was to determine the amount of money Britain will pay Ibori as compensation for the illegal detention he was subjected to when the British prisons did not allow him to leave on the exact day his prison sentence ended in December last year, but detained him unlawfully and illegally by a day, while even seeking for ways to further deny him his freedom by locking him up illegally.”
Eluemunor said the parties in the matter would make their final statements in March, and that the amount of damages to be awarded to Ibori would be decided.
“After all the speculations over when Chief James OnanefeIbori will return to Nigeria, Ibori himself has now confirmed that he would be homeward bound very soon,” he said.
He also quoted Ibori as telling BBC’s Mark Eastman that he was planning to appeal against his conviction and return to Nigeria.
“As soon as possible, may be in a matter of days,” Ibori was quoted to have said in response to a question on how soon his trip back home would be.
“Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in briefing his lawyers may be the only thing standing between Ibori now and his journey to Nigeria, the statement read.
“For instance, there will be mention of the Ibori London case this week Friday at the Southwark London court for the judge to be fully informed on what is happening with the disclosure process and to ascertain if everybody convicted in the Ibori and related cases will be appealing.”