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I wasn't guilty of corruption in 2012 even though I was convicted - Ibori

I wasn't guilty of corruption in 2012 even though I was convicted - Ibori

- Former Governor of Delta state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has said that he was convicted in 2012 unjustly

- He said he had filed a full appeal in the British Court of Appeal against his 2012 conviction

Former Governor of Delta state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has filed a full appeal in the British Court of Appeal against his 2012 conviction.

I wasn't guilty of corruption in 2012 even though I was convicted - Ibori

Former Delta state governor, Chief James Ibori

Vanguard reports that a statement from Ibori’s Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, said Mr Ibori’s counsel informed the Southwark London court on Friday March 17, 2017, that they have filed the appeal on Ibori’s behalf.

READ ALSO: Former Governor Ibori endorses Okowa for second term

As a result, the court then indefinitely adjourned the on-going proceedings concerning the second confiscation hearing. The original three-week confiscation hearing before Judge Pitts in September 2013 was unable to make any finding of theft from the Delta State.

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has, since February 2016 been undertaking a mammoth disclosure exercise and so far substantial material evidencing the police corruption and misconduct has been disclosed.

Recall that Ibori was released from prison on December 21, 2016 upon a UK court order. He was sentenced by a United Kingdom court to prison for 13 years and served out his term before his eventual release.

The CPS has gagged the media from reporting on this. Chief James Onanefe Ibori David Rose of the London Mail and Sunday newspaper as well as other Reporters have made applications in open court for the release of this material.

Mr Rose, for instance, argued it is in the public interest to do so, as the Ibori and linked cases are said to have been corrupted by Metropolitan Police corruption, prosecution misconduct and significant non-disclosure of key material which undermines the convictions.

For instance, a BBC report of July 2, 2016, titled “Ibori lawyer awarded £20,000 by Crown Prosecution Service” mentioned police and prosecution’s misbehavior as well as their massive misleading of the courts.

According to the report, “The extraordinary payment is just the latest twist in a legal case that has led to investigations into allegations of police corruption and a cover-up of key evidence”. The BBC report continued: “In May (2016), the CPS acknowledged that it had intelligence that “supports the assertion” that a Metropolitan Police officer was paid for information.

On Tuesday 7 June 2016, Stephen Kamlish, QC, representing BhadreshGohil submitted further corroboration of the serious misconduct by the prosecutors in the case – Sasha Wass QC and Esther Shutzer-Weissman- and how both knowingly conspired to pervert the course of justice by orchestrating a cover-up of the corruption and their own past misconducts.

However, the most shocking episode concerns the willful misleading of the Court of Appeal in the Gohil appeal of 2014. When main stream British media , The Times, Guardian, Sun, Telegraph, etc, focused public interest on the misconducts, the National Crime Agency (NCA)conducted an inquiry opened an inquiry.

Mid-September 2016, the NCA’s report appeared; it confirmed that police officers, working within the elite Department for International Development-funded Police Unit, were corrupt, and had withheld substantial material from the defence teams, but bizarrely stated that the convictions of James Ibori and others including BhadreshGohil “are safe” – though obtained through acts that clearly fall below the high standards of the British legal system.

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This conclusion will now be challenged by the appeal process, not only by Chief Ibori but also by all other defendants. Most of all, in a London-based Ben TV interview, Mr Lambertus de Boer, one of the bankers jailed in the case has dropped this bombshell:

“DfID entered into an agreement with the Nigerian Authorities in 2005 claiming the first £25m from all funds recovered during confiscation proceedings from Ibori and Ibori linked cases…” would be paid to DfID before a penny is returned to Nigeria”.

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