Monday, July 25, 2011

Tensions rise over James Ibori court hearing

Guardian (UK)
22 July 2011

Pro- and anti-Ibori supporters face off outside Southwark crown court hearing of former Delta state governor

It's a long way to come for just a couple of days, but Anidi flew all the way from Asaba, the capital of oil-rich Delta state, Nigeria, to London to give her full-throated support for James Ibori, the state's former governor, who has been charged with money laundering and fraud.

Anidi (her first name) was among some two dozen pro-Ibori supporters who faced off a smaller - but very vocal - anti-Ibori group outside Southwark crown court, near London Bridge, on Friday morning.

"This man is a good guy," insisted Anidi, as the two groups shouted at each other on the steps outside the court, kept apart by a lone police officer.

Pro-Ibori supporters wore Free Ibori T-shirts bearing the face of the man who was governor of Delta state from 1999 to 2007, and one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most powerful politicians.

The anti-Ibori group brandished placards that read: "UK judiciary thank you".

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