Friday, 10 August 2012
Nigeria: James Ibori seeks PR firm to help launder his image
Sources have revealed that convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who is serving a jail term in the United Kingdom for money laundering and fraud convictions has been trying to engage the services of UK public relations firms. Apparently he is seeking the services of a PR firm to help him launder his image in preparation for his release from jail and his eventual return to Nigeria.
Ibori apparently intends to continue in Nigerian politics after his prison stint. Sources have also revealed that, so far, most of the major PR firms contacted by Ibori's people have turned down the offer to work for Ibori. It would appear that Ibori is hoping to take a leaf from the book of former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyesiegha, who was infamously arrested in the UK on money laundering charges but escaped, dressed as a woman and effectively evading trial.
Following his disgrace Alamieyesiegha was replaced as governor by Goodluck Jonathan who was then the deputy governor. Despite being perceived as something of a political pariah his people held a “welcome parade” for him which was severely criticised by pundits. Alamieyesiegha has, however, now made a successful return to political circles.
Ibori's family and associates in Nigeria recently planned a “grand celebration” in honour of his 54th birthday party and this was widely advertised in national dailies. This celebration, which was criticised as ill-advised by observers and political pundits had been scheduled for Saturday 4 August but it has now been cancelled. The cancellation announcement was made by the secretary of the James Ibori Political Associates, Jaro Egbo, which was organising the celebration. Egbo cited circumstances beyond their control - the death of Ibori's brother - as the reason for the cancellation.
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