Former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, monday distanced himself from a Twitter handle linked to him since his return to the country.
In a statement signed by his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, the former governor informed the public that he has no Twitter account.
He explained that reports got to him last Sunday that a Twitter handle in his name (@ChiefIbori), with his picture, had been trending on the internet.
“His media office immediately reached out to some journalists such as to warn Nigerians not to fall victim to the fraudster who created that Twitter account for whatever reason. We can only suspect that a confidence trickster must have created that account to lure incredulous Nigerians into a 419 trap.
“Please, Ibori would like the public to disregard that account and to stop assessing the Twitter handle over matters or discussions affecting him as he neither nor those working for him created that Twitter handle or has ever commented on it. The Twitter administrators have been advised to shut down the account and whenever Ibori sees the need to create a Twitter account, the public would be so advised,” the statement added.
In addition, Ibori described some news report that he was deported from the UK as false.
He said: “Even though I had wanted to publicise my return to Nigeria so that wrong meanings would not be read into the public interest I knew my presence in Nigeria would elicit, and also because I never wanted any crowd that would gather because of me to disturb a single Nigerian in the course of their duties, all my efforts to keep the trip secret failed. The airline that brought me into Nigeria is public knowledge. So, too, my disembarkation airport.
“So, it would be easy to verify that I was not deported because the deporting country’s officials would always hand over deportees to Nigerian Immigration officials and documents would also be exchanged. Those who have chosen to report lies, and claim that I was deported know that no document exists anywhere in the world to back up those malicious claims.
“Most of all, a record of documented letters between Ibori’s solicitors and the British Home off exist which proves beyond all reasonable doubts that Ibori was granted leave to exit Britain “voluntarily”, and he announced, as was reported by both the Reuters and the BBC, and several Nigerian news outlets that he would return to Nigeria in a matter of days. He did not announce the exact day so as to avoid the situation that would result in crowd control challenges for the security services.”
According to the statement, on January 31, Ibori had confirmed in his last court appearance in Britain that he would appeal his conviction because the trial was riddled with corruption and other reasons.
“The court could not fix a date for confiscation hearing in deference to Ibori’s impending appeal, and so adjourned hearing till March 17; so the confiscation hearing will not start till after the appeal against Ibori’s conviction. This remains one of Ibori’s greatest victories since the London case started.
“Ibori’s counsel requested for the adjournment in the hope that the appeal would have been filed before March 17, thereby putting the confiscation hearing on hold,” it stated.