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EXCLUSIVE: Inside James Ibori and Secret Alliance with Tinubu Revealed!



EXCLUSIVE Inside James Ibori and Secret Alliance with Tinubu Revealed

Its only a few hours to the Governorship elections, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, a former governor of Delta State has entered into a secret pact, alliance with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria’s President-Elect, ENigeria Newspaper reports.

James Onanefe Ibori, a former governor of Delta State may have finally fallen out with incumbent Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa his political godson, as insider details available to this newspaper suggest that the former is throwing his weight behind Ovie Omo-Agege, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Although informed sources who spoke exclusively to ENigeria Newspaper reveal that 62-year-old Ibori is not set to jump ship to the opposition just yet, but has built a strong alliance with key members of the APC including Bola Ahmed Tinubu the party’s presidential candidate who is now president-elect after the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) pronounced him the winner of the keenly contested election which held on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

You would recall that in 2012, James Ibori was a victim of political crossfire with President Goodluck Jonathan which culminated in his ordeal and eventual imprisonment in far away United Kingdom where he pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the Nigerian state and its people of £50 million. Prosecutors alleged that Ibori had stolen around $250 million during his tenure and the judge sentencing Ibori described the £50 million to which Ibori pleaded guilty to as “ludicrously low.”

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Ibori’s wife, sister, and mistress were also convicted of money laundering. His wife and mistress were ordered to return £5.1 million and £2.6 million respectively, however, for the purpose of this report, we shall veering off this route for now.

Despite being in prison Ibori wielded so much power as the political godfather of Delta State, and for the respect he commanded, the Odidigborigbo as his appellation goes, fought tooth and nail to ensure the emergence of Ifeanyi Athur Okowa, his erstwhile loyalist whom he had promised the mantle of leadership as governor of the state when the time came.

Among those who fought against Okowa’s emergence was Emmanuel Uduaghan, the then governor and cousin to Ibori whose anointed candidate was the late Tony Obuh.

Against the backdrop of opposition fronts, ENigeria Newspaper understands that the strong man of Delta politics successfully installed his choice of candidate to lead the state as a mark of respect accorded him by his cousin Uduaghan and other upper echelon members and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

However, the table would soon shift as the outgoing governor (Okowa) allegedly refused to adhere to the succession plan of his ‘master’ (Ibori) whose original design was to enthrone another of his loyalist David Edevbie who was Commissioner of Finance and Economic Planning between June 1999 to September 2005 when Ibori was Governor.

Okowa’s perceived insistence on reportedly retiring Ibori by enthroning a different candidate – Sheriff Oborevwori the current Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly reportedly distorted the mapped-out succession plan and was like the proverbial last straw that broke the carmel’s back; according to insiders, Ibori who had since been approached by the opposition with a better deal is said to be hell-bent on a mission for his pound of flesh.

“Omo Agege was able to broker a deal for Ibori which involves a possible state pardon for him when Tinubu is finally sworn in as President along with other perks, in exchange for unleashing his mercenaries to ensure that APC takes over Delta State”, a source told our correspondent in Asaba.

The source revealed that Ibori also had a closed-door meeting with Tinubu at his Lagos home on Monday where final preparations were allegedly sealed.

You would recall that Ibori had since been putting up cold feet to openly endorse Okowa’s candidate despite pleas from the latter and his allies who appeared to have exhausted their moves. Instead he went ahead to openly endorse Hon. Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, the Delta South Senatorial Candidate of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) who came to seek his support to realize his ambition of succeeding Senator James Manager in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.

Also, other leaders of the PDP like ex-governor Uduaghan who are allies of the former governor that reportedly warned him about Okowa in the past have all systematically steered off the latter’s anointed candidate despite publicly denying any internal rancho in the Delta PDP circle.

There are also strong indications that, following a secret meeting with Ibori sometime last year, key members of the “Ijaw nation,” including Tompolo, Senator James Manager and others, who had previously supported Okowa’s administration, have reversed course and backed Ovie Omo-Agege’s ambition.


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