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Nigerian Officials Arrest Former Niger Delta Governor


Nigerian officials say they have arrested the former governor of Delta state on corruption and money laundering charges.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says James Ibori was taken into custody at his residence in the capital, Abuja. The statement says Ibori is facing a 103-count charge of abuse of office, corruption and money laundering.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in Federal High Court in Kaduna Thursday.

Ibori has been a close ally of Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua and was a financial backer of the president's campaign during this year's elections. He stepped down as Delta State governor earlier this year.

The former governor is also wanted on suspicion of corruption in Britain, where courts have frozen $35 million in assets thought to be under Ibori's control.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has pledged "zero tolerance" for corruption in the country.

The anti-corruption group Transparency International has consistently ranked Nigeria as one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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