Sunday, 11 October 2015

Former Nigerian ex-governor wanted in Britain dies: official

A former governor of Nigeria's oil-rich Bayelsa state wanted by London to face money-laundering charges died on Saturday, an official statement said.

"(Diepreye) Alamieyeseigha died Saturday evening at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching (Specialist) Hospital where he was receiving medical care," the Bayelsa state government said in the statement.

The statement did not disclose the cause of his death but local media reported that he died of cardiac arrest in oil city Port Harcourt.

The politician, 62, was Bayelsa state governor between May 1999 and December 2005 when he was impeached after being indicted for alleged money laundering in London.

Nigerian authorities said earlier this week that his case would be revisited shortly.

Born in November 1952, Alamieyeseigha was detained in London on the charges in September 2005. He later skipped bail in December of the same year and returned to Nigeria, reportedly disguising himself as a woman, which he denied.

The former Air Force officer had in 2007 pleaded guilty before a Nigerian court to charges of corruption and he was in prison for a very short period before he was released.

The court ordered that some of his assets be forfeited to the state.

Goodluck Jonathan, who would eventually become president of Nigeria, was his deputy when he was state governor, succeeding him in the position after Alamieyeseigha was booted out of office.

In March 2013, Jonathan as president granted Alamieyeseigha a state pardon, a move which was strongly criticised by many groups and individuals as condoning corruption.