James Ibori Likely To Appeal UK Conviction
Lawyers to the former Governor of Delta State, Mr James Ibori, say he is likely to appeal against his conviction in the UK on grounds that the British Police and lawyers involved in his case were corrupt.
Mr Ibori’s lawyer, Ivan Krolick, told the Southwark Crown Court that the former governor was “95 percent certain” in challenging his conviction in the Court of Appeal, based on documents that have only recently been disclosed to the defence by the prosecution.
He added that the documents showed that there had been widespread police corruption followed by a cover-up that is ongoing.
The main allegation was that a police officer involved in the Ibori probe took payments for information in 2007, from a firm of private detectives working on Ibori’s behalf.
The police, however, debunked the claims, saying that the allegation was thoroughly investigated.
They maintained that no one was arrested or charged and no misconduct was identified.
Ibori, who was Governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007, is serving a 13-year sentence in a British jail after pleading guilty in 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering.
His conviction in Britain was seen as a high point in efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria.
At a hearing in a London court, Ibori’s lawyers had alleged serious misconduct by Britain’s prosecuting authorities.
The allegations included failure on the part of the prosecution team to properly disclose information to the defence in relation to alleged corruption by a British police officer involved in the investigation, thereby misleading the court with false statements.
In response to the allegation, Britain’s state prosecution agency said that the conviction remained valid, in spite of evidence that a British police officer took bribes during the investigation of his case.