I have the exact same problem on a Dell GX270 that has to use software rendering to work. I run Debian and tried NeHes lwjgl tutorial Lesson06 out.
I just installed the 2 packages:
with version number 1.6.7-4.1
I made a similar simple work-around by copying the installed file :
cp /usr/lib/libIL.so.1.0.0 /<myhomedir>/lwjgl-linux-0.98/native/libIL.so
And then uninstall the 2 Debian packages libdevil-dev and libdevil1c2
All though not a nice workarround. It must be because of the LoadLibrary method cannot work with lwjgl 0.98 version of libIL.so (as someone wrote) in method "bool extil_Open(JNIEnv *env, jobjectArray ilPaths)" in lwjgl-linux-0.98/src/native/common/devil/extil.c cannot work with the original libAL.so file. I checked with eclipse and its debugger - It finds the right path for the native directory and the libAL.so file (ofcause else my work-around would not work!) So I guess its a DevIL problem.
The not so funny thing is that it works perfectly on my friends Fedora Core 4 laptop.