2:27 pm - Monday May 21, 2018

DEVELOPING STORY: ‘I Am Appealing against my Conviction in United Kingdom, British Police Stinks of Corruption’-JAMES IBORI, Nigeria’s millionaire politician …Argue: ‘I Want my 90 million pounds ($130 million) of assets, earlier confiscated, frozen for years, released to me by British authorities’ * ‘True, we confiscate James Ibori’s assets, plan to return them to the Nigerian state, but if his conviction were overturned he would regain control of them immediately. At the time of his arrest he was in the process of buying a $20 million private jet’-British Government * ‘ONE of the British police officers who investigated him took bribes in 2007 from a private detective, hired by a British law firm working for Ibori, in return for inside information about the police investigation’-Ibori’s lawyers in UK * Ibori gives evidence via video-link from Nigeria, and he appeared briefly on a screen in court, but the connection was lost and could not be restored. The court was told a power cut in Nigeria was the reason for the glitch BY STELLA IBADE/STAFF WRITER, UNITED KINGDOM

DEVELOPING STORY:

‘I Am Appealing against my Conviction in United Kingdom, British Police Stinks of Corruption’-JAMES IBORI, Nigeria’s millionaire politician

…Argue: ‘I Want my 90 million pounds ($130 million) of assets, earlier confiscated, frozen for years, released to me by British authorities’

* ‘True, we confiscate James Ibori’s assets, plan to return them to the Nigerian state, but if his conviction were overturned he would regain control of them immediately. At the time of his arrest he was in the process of buying a $20 million private jet’-British Government
* ‘ONE of the British police officers who investigated him took bribes in 2007 from a private detective, hired by a British law firm working for Ibori, in return for inside information about the police investigation’-Ibori’s lawyers in UK
* Ibori gives evidence via video-link from Nigeria, and he appeared briefly on a screen in court, but the connection was lost and could not be restored. The court was told a power cut in Nigeria was the reason for the glitch

BY STELLA IBADE/STAFF WRITER, UNITED KINGDOM

NIGERIA’S TWO-TIME FORMER GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, JAMES IBORI strongly believed he was ‘mischievously framed up’ by the British police with the sole intention of sitting on his hard-earned properties which he accrued by dint of hard work as a leading politician and successful businessman. He is challenging his earlier conviction ruling in the British court so he may prove his innocence and clear off the indictment.

Ibori gave evidence few days ago via video-link from Nigeria and appeared briefly on a screen in court, but the connection was lost and could not be restored. The court was told a power cut in Nigeria was the reason for the glitch. The judges instructed that a new attempt be made to establish a video-link to Ibori few days later.

Despite being a major oil and gas producer, Nigeria has daily electricity cuts – a result of decades of corruption and mismanagement in the power sector. Court documents showed Ibori is appealing his conviction which he strongly believed was done in error, as there are various evidence to prove that some United Kingdom police officers are not saints, but fully corrupt.

Sources in the British court explained that Ibori states in his defense in the following words: “I Am Appealing against my Conviction in United Kingdom, British Police Stinks of Corruption. I Want my 90 million pounds ($130 million) of assets, earlier confiscated, frozen for years, released to me by British authorities.”

Ibori’s lawyers allege that one of the British police officers who investigated him took bribes in 2007 from a private detective, hired by a British law firm working for Ibori, in return for inside information about the police investigation.

They also allege that British anti-corruption police who were supposed to investigate the alleged bribery instead covered it up to avoid scuppering Ibori’s trial and tarnishing the reputation of the police.

All the people against whom allegations of corruption or bad faith have been made have allegedly denied them. The appeal hearing, being held before three judges at London’s Court of Appeal, is due to last three days.

Though Ibori was released from jail in December 2016 after serving half of his 13-year sentence, as is normal in Britain, and he returned to Nigeria in February 2017. He has re-emerged in public life there and been feted at various events.

He is a Nigerian politician who spent years in UK jails after pleading guilty to laundering a stolen fortune in Britain, launched an appeal against his conviction recently, alleging corruption in the ranks of British police.

At stake are about 90 million pounds ($130 million) of Ibori’s assets, which have been frozen for years. The British authorities aim to confiscate them and return them to the Nigerian state, but if Ibori’s conviction were overturned he would regain control of them.

As governor of oil-producing Delta State from 1999 to 2007, Ibori became one of Nigeria’s most powerful men and enjoyed a millionaire lifestyle, with properties and luxury cars in several countries. At the time of his arrest he was in the process of buying a $20 million private jet.

His conviction in 2012, after he admitted 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering, was a rare example of a big player in Nigerian politics being held to account for the corruption that has blighted Africa’s most populous nation.

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