Nigerian ex-state governor James Ibori charged in UK

James Ibori (in white) with supporters (2009 image) James Ibori (in white) is being questioned in London

One of Nigeria's most influential and wealthy politicians, James Ibori, has been charged in London with 25 offences relating to money laundering and fraud.

The former governor of oil-rich Delta state was extradited from Dubai to the UK to face the charges.

He was arrested in Dubai last May and lost an appeal against his extradition. He denies allegations of corruption.

Mr Ibori is a senior figure in Nigeria's governing People's Democratic Party (PDP).

He was due to appear at a London court on Saturday, Scotland Yard said.

Mr Ibori played a key role in the 2007 presidential election victory of Umaru Yar'Adua, who died last year.

Under Nigeria's federal system, state governors enjoy wide powers.

Those running oil-rich states have budgets larger than those of some African countries.

They enjoy immunity from prosecution while in power, but several have faced corruption charges since leaving office after the last election in 2007.

Nigerians are going to the polls on Saturday for presidential elections.

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