A steady stream of Nigerians made up of especially Deltans have in the past week flooded London in anticipation of James Onanefe Ibori, who is scheduled to be released this week, after completing his 13 years jail sentence for corruption and money laundering.
This is especially so as Ibori has indicated that he will not be coming home immediately he is released.
In a statement by his media chief, Tony Eluemunor, Ibori said “When the time comes any important information will be made available to the public and nothing would be left for conjecture”.
Leading the pack of Deltans, and both federal and state political associates of Ibori is the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, some commissioners and top Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the state.
Apart from the official delegation, most of Ibori’s political associates have all relocated to London to welcome their leader.
A Southwark Crown court had on 17 April 2012, sentenced Ibori to 13 years in prison after the ex-governor pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money laundering and stealing $250m from the treasury.
Despite his travails, Ibori has managed to maintain a core of die-hard loyalists in Delta state and indeed across the country. He is extremely still very popular in Delta as his absence did not stop his political family from dominating and retaining power in Delta state.
It is common knowledge that he singlehandedly installed the current governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, from his prison cell.
Already, permutations are pointing at a massive reception for the former Delta state governor.