Convicted Nigerian fraudster James Ibori wins £1 from UK

Convicted fraudster and former Nigerian state governor James Ibori has been awarded £1 ($1.30) for being unlawfully detained for 42 hours in the UK.

Ibori was jailed in the UK for fraud totalling nearly £50m in 2012.

He was due to be released on 20 December but instead was held in immigration detention.

After he was released he launched his claim against the Home Secretary Amber Rudd for damages for false imprisonment and breach of his rights.

On Monday Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said the home secretary had been “wrong throughout her dealings with Mr Ibori over the weeks leading to his release” and that he had been unlawfully detained.

However, she rejected Ibori’s claim for £4,000 in damages. Instead she awarded “nominal damages” of £1.

The judge also said that the decision to keep him in immigration detention was probably because of millions of pounds the authorities have still not recovered from him.

A Home Office email, published in the court judgement, recommended to keep him in immigration detention to buy time to work out how to recover at least £57m.

“The best course of action at present is to place him in immigration detention and review the position in February or when we know more about the confiscation process”, it said.

On 21 December a High Court judge ordered his immediate release from prison. Ibori eventually left the UK in February.

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