Ibori Appeals His London Conviction

Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori
Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori

Former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori has now filed a full appeal in a British Court of Appeal against his conviction in 2012.

The former governor had been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to offences relating to conspiracy to launder funds from the state, substantive counts of money laundering and one count of obtaining money transfer by deception and fraud.

He was released in December 2016, after spending four years in prison in Britain, but prosecutors have since admitted they have documents suggesting that some police officers involved in the case took bribes.

Based on this revelation, Ibori is appealing against his conviction, claiming that the Metropolitan Police investigation was itself mired in corruption.

A statement issued by Ibori’s spokesman, Tony Eluemunor, revealed that the former governor’s counsel informed the Southwark London court on Friday, March 17, that they have filed an appeal on Ibori’s behalf.

Consequently, the court indefinitely adjourned the on-going proceedings concerning the second confiscation hearing.

Eluemunor added that the initial three-week confiscation hearing before Judge Anthony Pitts in September 2013 was unable to make any findings on theft from Delta State.

The statement read: “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. The CPS has gagged the media from reporting on this.

“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 Ibori and linked cases are said to have been corrupted by Metropolitan Police, prosecution misconduct and significant non-disclosure of key material which undermines the convictions.”