Former Governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori, on Monday, won an important legal victory against the British Secretary of State for the Home Department as the Court ordered the Home Department to compensate him for detaining him.
According to Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant, the victory came when Mrs. Justice Bobbie Cheema-Grubb DBE of Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, agreed with the submissions of Ibori’s counsel Ian Macdonald QC and Ivan Krolick that Ibori who was due for release was still maliciously detained on the 20th and 21st December 2016.
On that 21st December 2016 Ibori’s application for urgent consideration against the detention was heard before a High Court Judge who ordered Ibori’s immediate release.
That day, the Judge also granted Ibori permission to file claims against the Secretary of State of British Home Department, who was required to file detailed grounds of resistance to the claim and ordered that a substantive hearing should be listed by 31st January 2017 unless the defendant issued directions for the claimant’s removal by 4pm on 6th January 2017.
Ibori was eventually released in the evening of 21st December 2016, after a day and some eighteen hours of immigration detention (albeit held in prison).
On 30th December Ibori’s solicitors wrote to the Home Department seeking her acquiescence to his voluntary departure to Nigeria, a request that was not granted. They wrote again on 5th January 2017.
The day after receipt of this latest letter, the Home Department made an application to the Court requesting a further seven days in which to make a decision on Ibori’s request for voluntary departure. On 13th January 2017 the defendant decided to allow Ibori to depart the United Kingdom voluntarily.
Eluemunor, quoting directly from the judgement on Monday, declared that for the benefit of the news outfits that mis-informed their readers that Ibori was deported from Britain, “The SSHD (Secretary State for the Home Department) agreed that Mr Ibori could leave the jurisdiction and he did so on 3rd February 2017 under his own steam.”
Eluemunor added “from this, it is crystal clear that Ibori was not deported from Britain but returned voluntarily.”
“What remains now is the determination of the amount of money the Home Department has to pay Ibori as compensation to him for detaining him maliciously for over almost two days between Ibori’s counsel and the Home Department.”
On this, Justice Cheema-Grubb ordered: “If costs cannot be agreed between the parties I will make a determination on written representations (of no more than 3 sides in length) provided within 21 days of this judgment.”