Thursday, 18 October 2018

James Ibori Loses Appeal To Upturn London Conviction

Mr  James Ibori has lost an appeal against his conviction in London, United Kingdom (UK).

He was jailed in Britain for laundering tens of millions of dollars in stolen public funds, through British banks and acquisition of properties.

Ibori was governor of oil-producing Delta State for eight years.

He had pleaded guilty in a London court in 2012 to a 10-count charge of fraud and money-laundering, involving at least 50 million pounds ($66 million).

He received a 13-year jail sentence of which he served half, as is common in the British system.

Ibori, who is now back in Nigeria, appealed against his conviction, alleging misconduct by British Police and prosecutors, which he argued, tainted the judicial process.

The UK Court of Appeal yesterday declined Ibori’s application for leave to appeal his conviction.

The former governor has decided to head for the Court of Appeal at the European Court of Human Rights.

In a statement yesterday, Ibori’s Media Assistant Tony Eluemunor, quoted him as saying: “At 11 a.m. today, judgment of the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, was handed down. Once again, the British Courts have unjustifiably denied me justice.  The injustice contrived against me continued at the Court of Appeal. By this denial, I have been prevented from challenging my conviction even though the Crown Prosecution accepts the fact that there was a proven case of police corruption.

“The Court of Appeal declined my application for leave to appeal my conviction based on Crown Prosecution (CPS) and Police disclosure failures compounded by police corruption unearthed way before I even arrived in the UK. The allegation of police corruption, at least of Mr. John Macdonald, the Investigating Police Officer in my case, started on or about 10th of September 2007 while I was still in Nigeria. This issue of police corruption was raised by a different agency of the UK government working on an entirely different case at the time

“This material fact should have been disclosed to my legal team on my arrival in the UK. But it was not disclosed because the Crown Prosecution Service and the London Metropolitan Police knew the devastating and fatal impact that would have had on the case against me. The UK authorities chose deliberately to cover it up, even though my legal team asked that all-important question in open court.

“This continued cover-up, which is inimical to justice delivery, has been displayed again today by the Court of Appeal when it denied me the opportunity to appeal my conviction at the Appeal Court and possibly the Supreme Court of England and Wales.”


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