Bayelsa State governor Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, standing trial in London for alleged money laundering, has been seen in his ancestral home Amassoma in Bayelsa state this morning amid huge celebration by his friends, associates and his Ijaw kinsmen.
THISDAY checks reveal he has now proceeded to government house in Yenagoa to resume his duties as governor. He will address a press conference soon.
According to Mr Oronto Douglas, Bayelsa state commissioner for information “ Our governor Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha is back in Bayelsa. “ Asked how he escaped in London, where he is currently on bail for alleged money laundering, Douglas said “I don’t have that information at this time.” Several security sources, however, have confirmed to THISDAY, that the governor “jumped bail in London and has arrived Bayelsa.”
THISDAY will update this breaking news all day as it unfolds.
Nigeria governor 'skips UK bail'
Mr Alamieyeseigha earns less than $1,000 a month as a governor
The governor of an oil-rich Nigerian state has fled the UK, where he was charged with laundering £1.8m ($3.2m) found in cash and bank accounts.
Diepreye Alamieyeseigha is back at work in his home state of Bayelsa, officials say. He was granted bail in September, on condition he stayed in the UK.
He was originally arrested in September in Heathrow airport and some £1m-worth of cash was found in his London home.
Mr Alamieyeseigha says he is innocent and said the UK was being neo-colonial.
Bayelsa's Information Commissioner Oronto Douglas told the AFP news agency: "We woke up this morning and he was here... He said that God brought him here."
Mr Douglas said large crowds had lined the streets of the state capital, Yenagoa, to welcome the governor back.
British police have confirmed that he has failed to meet his bail conditions which included reporting regularly to a police station.
Nigeria's anti-corruption body has been investigating the governor for more than three years.
Under Nigerian law, governors enjoy immunity from prosecution while in office.
However, such immunity does not extend beyond Nigeria's shores.
Last year, another Nigerian state governor was arrested in London.
Joshua Dariye from Plateau state was quizzed by police on money laundering allegations involving more than £1m.
He was freed on bail and returned to Nigeria and is still wanted for questioning by British police.
Nigeria is considered one of the world's most corrupt countries but President Olusegun Obasanjo has vowed to fight the problem.
He set up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after his election in 1999.
Although several senior officials have been put under investigation for alleged corruption in recent months, there has not been any significant conviction during his six years in power.
Mr Obasanjo's critics say the anti-corruption drive is being used to target his political opponents.