Former Delta State Governor, James Ibori and about 267 Nigerians serving in various prisons across the United Kingdom may be deported to Nigeria to complete their sentences under the UK’s new prisoner transfer agreement, which is currently being discussed.
According to UK’s Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright, this number is about half of the 534 Nigerians currently in UK jails, making Nigeria to rank among the top ten countries whose nationals are serving in British jails.
“I am clear that more foreign prisoners must serve their sentences in their own countries. That is why we are currently working with the Nigerian Government on a compulsory prisoner transfer agreement to increase the number of prisoners who are transferred.
“Legislation allowing Nigeria to enter such an arrangement was passed earlier this year by the Nigerian Parliament. We are now working with them on the text of a final agreement.”“And I’m taking action in Government to say look we have strong relationships with all of the countries where these people come from.“Many are coming from Jamaica, many from Nigeria, many from other countries in Asia. We should be using all of the influence we have to sign prisoner transfer agreements with those countries. Even if necessary frankly helping them to build prisons in their own country so we can send the prisoners home.”
A major stumbling block to deportation of foreign nationals in the past has been the condition of prisons in their own countries, but the UK has promised £1million (N250 million) to Nigeria to help improve its jails.