Former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has launched an appeal against his conviction in London, following new evidence that some Policemen in Scotland Yard and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) covered up evidence of police corruption in his case.
According to a press statement by Tony Eluemunor, Head, Ibori’s Media Office, the defendants in the cases have submitted grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division and the proceedings will not be litigated before the Court until 2017.
THEWILL recalls that Ibori, his lawyer and associates were sentenced to various terms in prison over money laundering charges and attempt to pervert the course of justice.
However, Eluemunor, quoting the BBC, claims that new information has been revealed with details of how the prosecution had taken bribes to suppress a substantial number of documents suggesting an officer did take bribes.
He revealed that the British National Crime Agency (NCA) has confirmed that Police officers, working within the elite Department for International Development funded Police Unit at the heart of the Ibori case and linked prosecutions were corrupt and had withheld substantial material from the defence teams.
“The NCA report simply confirmed explosive revelations of corruption and abusage of the British court process by the Prosecution Service, such as disclosure rules guiding British court procedures. The report is a damning and fatal indictment on the prosecution of the Ibori and linked cases,” he said.
“The case demonstrates the truly shocking behaviour of the British Crown Prosecution Service.
“Despite the over whelming evidence of corruption by British anti-corruption officers, it continues to prosecute James Ibori and others when it now has in its possession evidence as to the source of his funds.
“Surprisingly, the September 16, 2016 BBC report written by Mark Easton, Home editor, and entitled ‘New evidence Supports Cover-up Claims in Ibori Case’ is totally different from what appeared in the Nigerian media.
“The BBC report monitored last night has said, ‘The previously undisclosed material came to light after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, demanded a review into the conviction of Nigerian politician James Ibori.
“The internal investigation followed allegations by defence lawyers that prosecutors had wilfully misled judges about the existence of evidence that could support corruption claims. Now defence solicitors are being sent previously unseen documents discovered during the review.
“In a statement the CPS reveals how the review team found material to support the assertion that a police officer received payment in return for information. The review team has now concluded that this material should have been disclosed to the defence and the process of disclosure to relevant parties is under way.
“Prosecutors had previously denied there was any undisclosed material to support the corruption allegations and the admission that considerable documentation exists and should have been handed over, represents an embarrassing climb-down for the CPS.”
Eluemunor added that the report did not exonerate Detective Sergeant John McDonald, the officer at the heart of the Ibori investigation, from corrupt payments allegations.