• Case resumes in London Friday
Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori’s trial will resume today at the Southwark Crown Court in London under David Tomlinson to enable the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) led by Jonathon Kinnear and Mike Newbold to set out its position in relation to the recent National Crime Agency (NCA) Review.
A statement issued by Ibori’s Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, yesterday, said the review was an internal investigation into the allegations by Ibori’s counsel that some people who investigated and prosecuted Ibori and his associates were corrupt and that the CPS erred terribly by withholding pertinent materials from the defence team and misled the court.
For instance, he said: “It is now totally clear that the NCA, which investigated the corruption allegation against the Police officers, is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the same body that funded the original Ibori and Gohil investigations.
“The same DFID also funded the CPS (the prosecutors), so it is difficult for a DFID-funded body to indict a sister DFID- funded body, especially after it has been established that the same DFID signed an agreement with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that it will have a first line payment of $25 million from any money confiscated from Ibori, before it is repatriated to Nigeria, if Ibori’s conviction is achieved in any way.
“So there is a clear conflict of interest as the DFID, through its various arms, has been engaged in a bounty hunt.”
The statement, moreover, noted that NCA is the same body, which oversees the Proceeds of Corruption section where DC McDonald worked when he investigated Ibori. “Thus, NCA would be effectively investigating itself and clearing itself prematurely, despite continuing and outstanding disclosure, because McDonald is tainted over corruption charges and as a result, dropped from the Ibori and its related cases,” it stated.
Eleumunor stated that Ibori’s counsel would attack the report of the alleged tainted review because the CPS has no basis to suggest that the convictions of Ibori, Gohil and others are ‘safe’. “This is the function of the Court of Appeal. The CPS has tried to prejudice the defendants’ position in the public domain by making that claim, thereby playing its usual game of trying to manipulate the court,” it added.
He condemned the CPS’ stand that its report should be kept away from the media.
According to him, “This is another attempt at media manipulation because the mass media should be entitled to receive the disclosed and highly incriminating material and to expose the magnitude of the corruption in these cases, so that people should judge the level of malfeasance involved in the judicial persecution that Ibori and his associates have been facing for years now.
“Most of all, Ibori’s team hereby calls for independent investigation (public enquiry) into the police corruption and prosecutorial misconduct and why it was permitted to happen, including the systematic misleading of the various courts and the Court of Appeal. This is the only way to expose the extent of the corruption and to ensure that it does not happen again in future.”