James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria’s oil-producing states, has pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.
British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years.
The prosecutor called him a “thief in government house”.
Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.
As his trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state” Paul Whatmore Metropolitan Police
Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had “tricked” his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record.
“He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state’s wealth and hand out patronage.”
He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. Read more…