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Watch John Fashanu’s praise of James Ibori at UK Court | BBC Video Report on how Ibori started as a Petty Thief in London

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John Fashanu, veteran sportsman and footballer sang his praises of James Ibori at the Southwark Crown Court 9 in London on Tuesday 17th April, 2012 in an attempt to get a lenient sentence for the former governor.

Claiming that he had known Ibori for 20 years, he testified saying the former governor achieved a lot in sports, and was instrumental to the end of militancy in the state. He told the court that Ibori built nine mini-sports stadia and three Olympic-sized stadia in Delta state and also built the first shooting range in Nigeria.

The video below shows where he was questioned by some reporters outside the court. He said he had a relationship with Ibori through sports.

He said, “As a person, I found James Ibori as a very humble person, a very giving person, somebody who has revolutionized sports in Delta state and helped so many youths.” But he also added that if Ibori was guilty, he should pay for his crime. “Anybody who does anything should pay back. Nobody is denying that.”

Notice the text on the video that called him a ‘Notoriously corrupt British Born (Nigerian) Footballer’.

This second video compiled by the BBC shows how James Ibori started out as a thief in London in 1991 where he worked as a cashier in a hardware store.

“James Ibori robbed the Nigerian state funds of untold fortunes, but he started out as a cashier here in West London, working as a cashier in a hardware store. He was sacked for allowing his wife take 2oo pounds worth of DIY material without paying. The following year, James Ibori was arrested again, this time for using a stolen credit card.”

“By the end of the decade, James Ibori had managed to become one of the richest and most important rulers in all Africa.”

It also has excerpts of an interview with former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu who claimed that Ibori tried to bribe him with $15million in cash. Ribadu expressed his disappointment at how Ibori faced 150 charges which were all dismissed by a court in Delta state.

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

37 Comments

  1. kem

    April 18, 2012 at 9:21 am

    friends in good times and bad times…………lol

  2. ij

    April 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    who cares what he did in Delta state ? he is a thief and he has been caught simple, meanwhile one word for John Fashanu – idiot!

  3. Layo

    April 18, 2012 at 9:37 am

    How pathetic! Ugh so so annoying.

  4. Dii

    April 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Damn! $15million in cash. Ibori got what was coming to him but I wonder how many more are out there.

  5. 1960chick

    April 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

    LOL at the man singing we shall overcome in the background.
    Ibori revolutionized Delta State my foot?! Fashanu is just as corrupt as Ibori if not worse! as someone said on twitter if his brother Justin (UK’s first openly gay pro footballer) was a billionaire he’d have been front and center of gay rights campaigns.
    He should be tried for perjury cos he was spewing nothing but lies on that stand.

    http://www.that1960chick.com

  6. commywhite

    April 18, 2012 at 9:43 am

    HE SHOULD BE ASHEMED OF HIMSELF,NIGERIA AS A COUNTRY SHOULD BE ASHEMED OF HIM TOO.CRIMINAL

  7. melee

    April 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

    mmmhhhhhh

  8. LPS

    April 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

    BN God bless u. I was so annoyed yday when I watched the bbc1 news. I was like wtf is wrong with this guy. My respect for him dropped like 1000%
    http://personalstuvs.blogspot.com

  9. Agape

    April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gosh! I am tears for my country. To say that I’m appalled would be a understatement…

  10. Agape

    April 18, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Gosh! I am in tears for my country. To say that I’m appalled would be an understatement…

  11. Chikaka

    April 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Cringe worthy!

  12. lam lam

    April 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

    This is so sad…what a shame

  13. rogotigi

    April 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

    SHAMEFUL. Its sad to see who he amassed dirty wealth over a long period of time and he had to be brought down in a foreign land.
    Nigeria needs to do more in fighting crime and taking down offenders and thieves. How long are we going to continue like this ehn?

    • rogotigi

      April 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

      ‘to see how* he…..’

  14. miss kay

    April 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

    smhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  15. Blessed

    April 18, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Too bad, there are some many people like him walking freely in Nigeria. Some are even in govt. When will they pay for their crime against the Nigeria populace? Are they untouchable? Or are we waiting for the American or British govt to do the needful?

  16. James007Bond

    April 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

    So what else is new? Are the rotten people in Nigeria not now taking centre stage? And to think elements like Fashanu are deeply involved in Nigerian football! Any wonder that we are now ranked no 60 in the world? As the Americans will say, you ain’t seen nothing yet!!!!!

  17. abimbola oki

    April 18, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Did any1 see dat notoriously corrupt british born footballer. Lolz

  18. new bride

    April 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

    A big shame on the Nigerian justice system that acquitted this criminal of a man!!! Thank God that he’ll at least spend sometime in jail.

    And let this be a warning to all the other criminal politicians – YOUR TIME TOO WILL COME!!! You will be disgraced, shamed and humiliated. Gos is a just GOd

  19. tito

    April 18, 2012 at 11:35 am

    this guy is just full of nonsense….. anywayz i ve come to realise that, its not all about speaking grammer that equate to intelligence and integrity ………… it’s a thief like himsef that can cum out boldly and celebrate thief….. sure he must have bin tipped….. mschew! if he truely knows Ibori like he claims he shuld also be allowed to spend sometym with him in the prison……. mschew!

  20. Ipogah A. Z.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Will the recovered funds be use for the development of Delta State?

  21. Seun

    April 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    all these corrupt govt officials erhn, those for death will die, those for jail will b jailed and those for exile will go on exile & perish there!
    They will all be disgraced and put to shame up to their 3rd generation. their children will be vagabonds, death & destruction will not cease from their households.
    they will spend d rest of their days in penury & terminal diseases and then spend eternity in hell!

    stupid idiots! rubbing nigeria blind and thinking dey will get away wit it forever? God punish dem to their 3rd generation!!

  22. Anony

    April 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    John Fashanu is a born fool,biggest,retarded bastard!

  23. Kemi Awobokun

    April 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    This is a very strong allegations all over the world is the news of James Ibori, Nemesis had caught up on him. Other Governors should beware. Everyday is for the thief and one day is for the owner. People are sleeping under the bridge here in Lagos. Families have no food to eat. Children are crying. Oh God save this Nation.

  24. JOANNA!

    April 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    “ashemed”??? *cough cough*

  25. Mz Socially Awkward...

    April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Dude in the background singing “We shall overcome” and shouting out random things over John’s interview like “one down, more to go”…. he’s killing me softly. LOL!

    And John’s lost the little scrap of credibility he still had, wt his stunt here. I’m off to watch the 2nd vid…

  26. Boo

    April 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    What do you expect from people who have sold their souls for money.

    John Fashanu, you are a disgrace to Nigeria. You are no better than the thief you stood up for.

  27. ms pretty

    April 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    i will still say t again and again that Ibori is in this trouble today because he is not in the good books of Jonathan, how many more of ibori’s do we have in govt and r still working free and lavishing their ill-gotten stolen wealth, if ibori had been good friends wt d presidency, there’s no way he wl be tried and they will not even release him to UK for probe and if he ever gets probe in the UK our govt will be clamouring for his release so he can serve his jail term n Nigeria and you can be sure he’ll be serving from his mansion in his village, Nigeria is a pathetic sorry state and we surely need divine help

  28. Written

    April 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I watched this yesterday. I have always thought there’s something wrong with John Fashanu – hs just seems to be very shifty, riding on very little credibility and much hype. If I had any respect for him before, it’s gone into minus. Indeed the wicked shall not go unpunished.

  29. faith

    April 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Which one of U̶̲̥̅̊ can resist 15million dollars…common lest b sincere…I know I can…can U̶̲̥̅̊???

  30. bsafa

    April 18, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    john u are full shit, am sure you are no better than your boss in jail. God will continue to expose you guys in bit, slowly buy surely. This is just a tip of the iceberg. Nigerians cont binding them in ur prayers.

  31. Dee-USA

    April 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    He robbed Delta of how many billions and all he gets is 13 years? I say he deserves more.

    As for Fashanu. Everyone knows he’s a puppet who can be easily controlled for the right price. For someone who never associated with Nigeria prior to his retirement as a player, I don’t know why he was appointed a Sports Ambassador for Nigeria. I ran into him after the Nigeria-Argentina match in South Africa and I wanted to curse him out.

    What I don’t understand is why the judge didn’t ask for pictures or evidence of these mini stadiums and swimming pools. He deserved more than 13 years.

    Sadly when the money’s returned to Nigeria, it would end up in the same manner.

  32. Miss T

    April 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Omgosh, he started stealing since, small small! The devil sure knows hw to hold people to a point gosh! He now stole gigantic sums and was not pricked by his conscience anymore.

  33. Femi

    April 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Howfa with that guy singing at the background.
    Kai some Nigerians would forever act uncivilized regardless where they are in the world. KMTTT…

  34. St. ED!

    April 19, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I think John Fashanu, is on some cheap crack or he’s probably sniffed glue……! What has building 9 stadia or a shooting range got to do with corruption…? seriously?? He needs a Psyche evaluation!

  35. mma

    April 19, 2012 at 5:24 am

    the next person should victor attah of akwa ibom and peter odili of rivers i cant wait for them to be publicly shamed

  36. Anonymous

    April 20, 2012 at 12:19 am

    [email protected] reporters but love them Hopefully, more and more will be convicted. And, I hope they take all the money from him, all his assets. It’s about 100’s still running around. I don’t like the western involvement in Africa’s issues but won’t mind if they convict more because Nigerian justice system is a sham.

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