Barring any last-minute hitch, controversial London-based Nigerian businessman, Terry Waya, is due in Nigeria today via British Airways flight expected to arrive Abuja Wednesday morning.
Mr. Waya achieved public notoriety a few years ago when his 40th birthday party in London drew more than half of Nigeria’s state governors as well as other top public officials.
Waya’s trip back to Nigeria will be his first time In Nigeria since the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) charged him with money laundering crimes.
Waya was charged after he unsuccessfully applied to post bail on behalf of then Bayelsa Governor Diepreye S.P. Alamieyeseigha who was arrested in London in 2005 for money laundering.
A source close to Waya told Saharareporters that the party-loving Waya looks forward to being hosted to a big party by his equally controversial friends at his mansion in Abuja.
Alamieyeseigha, who was expected to arrive in Nigeria on Monday night from his Dubai base, is playing a key role in the party.
Also expected to be at the party is former Governor James Ibori of Delta State. Ibori, who briefly fled to Ghana and then traveled to Dubai on a short visit where he met former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, is now back in Abuja. Our sources disclosed that fear of Interpol arresting him led to Ibori’s decision to leave Ghana. Ibori had checked in, incognito, into African Regent Hotel owned by the family of Ghana’s President John Kufuor.
Our source indicated that Ibori may be the chairperson at the party where Waya will be feted by several serving and former governors, most of them facing indictment for corruption, those expected include Jolly Nyame, Orji Kalu, Prince Abubakar Audu and Joshua Dariye.
Earlier this year, Waya was convicted of mortgage deception by the London Crown Court and given a light sentence of community service. Since that conviction, Waya has maintained a low profile in London, only meeting his associates in restaurants in London. His passport, which was temporarily seized during his trial, has been returned to him.
Waya’s legal troubles are, however, far from over. London police, who have seized monies from Waya estimated at more than $850,000, are engaged with him in another legal battle to permanently seize the funds, the next hearing is scheduled for January 25thh 2008 in London.
In court depositions, the police accuse Waya of serving as a conduit for laundered funds from Nigeria.
One deposition obtained by Saharareporters links Waya to Ibori’s extensive money laundering activities. The deposition also names Ibori’s three female accomplices who may be charged for money laundering on December 19th, 2007.