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The shame of Ibori’s trials, incarceration (2)

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Ibori

Ibori

Continued from yesterday
APART from Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and Alhaji Shehu Shagari, look at all other previous heads of state (from the in-group), who now wallow in wealth and in luxury, with audacity and impunity, and strutting about like unfettered swashbucklers and the proverbial gay Lotharios. So why is Ibori the byword for corruption in Nigeria? Is it because he hails from a minority ethnic group, the Urhobo nation, the fourth most populous ethnic nationality in Nigeria, a group that revels in being trampled upon and elects to suffer in silence, in spite of huge natural and human resources? How can you fight corruption selectively and hope to achieve success? I pout my lips whenever I hear anyone call Ibori’s name in derision.

Now I can hear fake prayer warriors against corruption saying, ‘Chris Akiri is writing all this because he is Urhobo’, which I proudly am, anyway! I can say from the roof tops that Ibori’s touted theft is a mere flea bite on the kernel of the corruption, malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance inflicted on Nigeria by former and serving Governors and heads of state, even those whose regions contribute zero per cent to the Federation Account.

When Kwame Nkrumah (the Osagyefo), the late President of Ghana, was alive, he fervidly inveighed against colonialism and neocolonialism. He abominated a situation in which his nation, or any African nation, was yoked to the colonial horse of any Western nation, or, if, having attained nationhood, any African state should allow a former colonial master to continue to stand astride it as though nothing had happened. Among such notable revolutionaries and nationalists were Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Amilcar Cabral, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, etc. But they are no more! So today, shameless African states, including Nigeria, have tied their states to the apron strings of European and American countries, of their own volition.

I was, therefore, not surprised when neocolonialist Judge Anthony Pitts of the Crown Court in London queried, with temerity, the validity of Section 182 (1) (e) of our Constitution, which allows someone tried and convicted of any crime more than 10 years before the date of election to the office of Governor of a State to stand for election to the office of Governor of a State.

Ibori and his wife were said to have been convicted of the offence of handling stolen property in London, early in1991. Under the provisions of the British Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, after the lapse of a period of five years, anybody convicted of an offence in a UK court is entitled to consider that his/her legal status has returned to be as if he had never been convicted. Judge Anthony Pitts, stunned and visibly shaken with exasperation, wondered why the Nigerian Constitution makes the conviction/return-to-emancipation period only 10 years for an African! Such an unblushing Negrophobe! But I don’t blame him, with his aquiline nose and café au lait colour! The Nigerian Government and the servile people of Nigeria are to blame.

Now the big question and conclusion: can any one of the sanctimonious haters and traducers of Ibori, Alamieyeseigha, etc. of the Niger Delta, particularly those inveterate traducers in the South of Nigeria, imagine any British or American President and his advisers hounding their political adversaries into exile in Africa, to be tried by African courts and incarcerated in African prisons, to the joy of Britons or Americans? How many British or Americans serving or ex-public officers, like Secretaries or ex-Governors of States, have been tried, let alone convicted, and sentenced to serve prison terms in Nigeria? Or there is no corruption in Britain and America? Why must we announce to the whole world that Nigerian leaders are the most corrupt in the world?

Gradually but inexorably, Nigeria has intentionally or inadvertently surrendered its hard won sovereignty to the suzerainty of foreign powers in a rabid bid to discredit its preceding leadership and its own judiciary. As long as Ibori remains in jail in London, Nigerians and their governments will continue to wear the toga of shame, disgrace, dishonour and embarrassment.
• Concluded
• Akiri is an Attorney-at-Law in Lagos.


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15 Comments
  • Prince T

    @akiri i know that you are ibori defender and you entitled to your view. but you are not entitled to your facts. you can at least tell the truth, lying makes you look cheap as a lawyer. . ibori was a shame on us in another way but not your description. he refused to face justice in nigeria and ran to dubai thinking they are like us. he opened our yanch in public. was he not a shame on us that someone was arrested for stealing at wickes DIY and at another time in possession of stolen credit cards was a governor in nigeria. the worst part is that the crime was covered. ibori ran away to dubai. nigeria tried to repatriate him but dubai preferred to transfer him to UK since he has UK residency. ibori should apologise to us for telling the world that corruption is ok, provided you are rich. ibori even bribed police in UK.

  • DrChat

    absolutely DUMB cheap meaningless article

  • Whalerolex

    Akiri, you are an absolute disgrace to progressive Nigeria. How much were you paid to sell your conscience this way?
    Did Ibori, A Madueke and DSP Alams commit crime(s) in UK?
    What has Ibori’s case got to do with Nigeria’s sovereignty?
    I am not aware of any politician in UK or US that stupidly diverted state funds for personal use.
    In my opinion, Ibori is worse than an armed robber and very lucky that he is in a UK jail. Na kirikiri fit am.
    You talked about Shame, disgrace, embarrassing, etc.. That’s what you and them Ibori are causing Nigeria and Nigerians.
    Probably you want attention from the likes of Ibori, GEH, S Odua etc. You want to be another Reuben Abati. God punish you

    • ZINNI

      Did IBB,ABDUSALAM,TINUBU,FASHOLA,DASUKI snr,and jnr(NSA)ATIKU,KWANKWANSO,MODU SHERRIF,SHETIMA,FARIDA WAZIRI,LAMORDI,AMAECHI backed by the majority tribes,etc are they thieieves?if Ibori was from the majority tribes,i bet you not even a fly could touch his faces,sorry a bloody minority that feed the nation,treat both north and south equally in any matter of legal implications,the major tribes uses quota system to accrue so muchbenefit to themselves in benefit,and dequota in punishment to minorities,how then can people be happy?Ibori has acted badly yes,he was not the only one deal fairly with all for true happiness.

      • Whalerolex

        Yes they are all thieves. What’s your point?

        • ZINNI

          Alright,and there no evidence of thjeir traces? is anybody above the law?Ibori is a thief,severally he escaped conviction in Nigeria,just a single attemp in the UK,end of story,catch all ,try all punish all,you know them,we all know them,the law can catch them now

          • Whalerolex

            I want to believe I understand what you are saying. Seems you believe it’s not fair that Ibori is in jail while other thieves like thiefnubu IBB are free. Well you are right but I want you to know Ibori enjoyed freedom when he was his caucus was in power. Too bad. Remember the Bode George story. All these might be products of witch hunting but the fact remains they are thieves. So Ibori should be in jail. Am I wrong?

          • Justice Change

            ”Under the provisions of the British Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, after the lapse of a period of five years, anybody convicted of an offence in a UK court is entitled to consider that his/her legal status has returned to be as if he had never been convicted. Judge Anthony Pitts, stunned and visibly shaken with exasperation, wondered why the Nigerian Constitution makes the conviction/return-to-emancipation period only 10 years for an African! Such an unblushing Negrophobe! But I don’t blame him, with his aquiline nose and café au lait colour! The Nigerian Government and the servile people of Nigeria are to blame”

            Rolex – you should read before you write your comment and avoid out of sentiment write up. When the chain is broken the link shall learn to protect its own!
            Zinni, thanks.

          • Whalerolex

            @justicechange:disqus : Maybe that is why we have the forum to enlighten ourselves. I still do not understand how my comment sound sentimental. I have supported non of these thieves. In your comment about Judge Pitts, did you see that in the video or were you part of those Ibori bribed £1700 to protest in court on the day? “One of the counts Ibori admitted related to a $37m (£23m) fraud pertaining to the sale of Delta State’s share in Nigerian privatised phone company company V Mobile” My question is simple; is Ibori a thief and should he be jailed? You and Zinni sound sentimental by implying (let me know if am wrong) its been unfair on Ibori because he’s not the only thief in NIgeria

            Thanks

          • ZINNI

            Right

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    Shame on this charge-and-bail, corruption-enabler legal prostitute. May your type become a footnote in Nigeria’s ascent to greatness. Ibori shamed us by his rottenness, and you shame your tribe by your effrontery and the legal profession by your indecency.

  • absam777

    It beats me to read that this writer states that he is “an Attorney-at-Law in Lagos”. Ibori should be happy that he was never represented by this third class lawyer. Questions for Mr Akiri: (1)What was the crime that Ibori is doing time for? (2) Where is the jurisdiction of the crimes committed by Ibori ?
    He should think carefully before answering his minority inferiority crap. Ibori’s case had both national and multinational dimension. While he was able to bribe his way through in Nigeria, such act could not be attributed to his conviction in a non partisan court abroad.
    As an officer of the law, Mr Akiri should be more concern about the corrupt judiciary in Nigeria and stop abusing the UK court.

    • Tru

      Very well said. Thank you Absam. It is obvious Mr Akiri is a paid piper.

  • Colnbri

    No need to defend the indefencable. A thief is a thief is a thief.

  • Chris Akiri’s in-depth dissection and analysis of Chief Ibori’s incarceration in the UK prison could have passed as one of those side talks spouted out by the ill-informed; but Chris is not an ill-informed. He is a well-respected Attorney –at-law. Again, if the disgraced former governor has enlisted the services of Chris Akiri for this effort at a cosmetic white-brushing, that equally we can understand. After all, as an Attorney-at-Law, defending his client’s sometime indefensible and portraying them in good light is one of the reasons he is in this planet to do. That is as far as that goes.
    James Onanefe Ibori was the Governor of Delta State in Nigeria from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party. He is currently in jail in the UK. What Chris Akiri was exhaustively trying to tell Nigerians was that it was our fault that CHIEF Ibori was convicted in the UK court because we so many armchair ‘Amebo’ judges in Nigeria. It is an indicative of our dire state and ‘unique’ legal system in Nigeria that it was left for Majesty’s judicial system to show us Chris Akiri’s colleagues failed miserably to do. If Chris has, in a blind defence of Ibori failed to remember the antecedents of that famous case, let’s quickly refresh his memories: On December 12, 2007, Ibori was arrested by Malam Nuhu Ribadu’s led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and subsequently charged with offences including theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering. Nuhu Ribadu additionally alleged that Ibori attempted to bribe him to drop the charges with a cash gift of $15 million, which Ribadu immediately lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. In a case that would shamefully hang over the integrity of the judiciary in Nigeria to which Chris Akiri is legitimately part of, on December 17, 2009, A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, discharged and acquitted Ibori of all 170 charges of corruption brought against him by EFCC. You can’t make that up. Why, with all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In Chris Akiri’s own judgement this was the real judgement as it was a departure as it did not conform to the judiciary in Nigeria that was ‘mere outward manifestation of a legal system in which the real judges are the men and women on the streets, in their offices or in their beer-parlour rendezvous’’
    Mr Chris Akiri’s elaborate description of former Governor Ibori gigantic achievements in Delta State was at best a barefaced exercise in disjointed flattering. Chris Akiri also either intentionally or inadvertently missed to remind us that Chief Ibori’s corruption charges started with the filling of petitions by his kinsmen, under the auspices of Delta State Elders and Stakeholders Forum influenced by the foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin K. Clark, OFR, CON. If we are to believe that Chef Ibori was the governor that God has bequeathed to Delta state and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the how can we reconcile the position of these petitioners? It was preposterous to suggest that a man who as at then was alleged to have embezzled over N40 billion ($266 million) was adjudged by Akiri to be the best thing that had happened to Delta state. From what we know now, and from the available court records, (courtesy of Southwark Crown Court, UK), this initial figure was a conservative amount as Ibori was running the state as an extension of Chief James Onanefe Ibori PLC. In just one of the counts Ibori admitted to a mouth-watering $37m (£23m) fraud pertaining to the sale of Delta State’s share in Nigerian privatised phone company V Mobile.
    Mr Akiri obviously did not see anything wrong with this. Reading Mr Akiri’s further exposition on the ‘not guilty as charged’ position of the former governor makes for a titillating reading reminiscent of the type he was accusing the lay-men/women ‘ameboes’ of doing. Take a read: ‘Ibori scaled through the over 100-count charge against him in Nigeria, because the standard of proof in a criminal offence is “beyond reasonable doubt”; not on the “balance of probabilities” as in civil matters. So the man was discharged and acquitted by Nigeria’s formal Court of Appeal’’ That is very fascinating indeed. It is not clear when the ‘proof in criminal offence’ is different from a Nigerian court to any other court in the world. In the UK court, Ibori presented with all the damning evidence against him as was the case in Nigeria. It is equally ridiculous for Akiri to suggest that Ibori was hounded into exile until a ‘vengeful Jonathan’s Government, in cahoots with neo-colonial Britain, put him in jail for 13 years in London, for money laundering charges’! This is not the sort of pepper-soup joint conclusion expected of a respected Attorney – at-law of Mr Akiri’s standing. From what I have read so far, it is evident that Chris has gone through the details of the prosecution and defence of Ibori at Southwark Crown Court. Unless, he is inferring that the prosecution did not meet to his high expectation of due process and ‘proof of a case beyond reasonable doubts’. It would have been perfect if the London court had gone in the way of the infamous December 17, 2009 Federal High Court Asaba’s, discharged and acquitted of all charges verdict? Chris Akiri’s has also made a furtive attempt at inciting catalogue of unfair corruption allegations against former governors from oil producing states. This to me seems a bogus attempt at defending the indefensible. Take former governor Alamieyeseigha for instance, he was picked up in the UK and charged with money laundering offence. He jumped bail and returned to Nigeria. If he not complicit in the charges against him, he would have been courageous enough to stand trial ad defend himself. I am sure Chris himself would agree with this. In the context of his argument Mr Akiri would have been discharged of all biased intent if he had used this premise to compare the judicial system in Nigeria and what is obtained the United Kingdom. Don’t forget some of the corruption cases that Chris and his colleagues at the bar started since 2007 are still pending in our courts today. That tells you millions! It is also frantically debasing the argument to rhetorically question how many UK or American Public office holders have been ‘hounded’ by their political adversaries into exile in Africa, to be tried by African courts and incarcerated in African prisons? What a rattle-prattle piece of disconnect? Does Mr Akiri know exactly what he was talking about? Is he saying that in all honesty he has not heard of where a Secretary of State and Queen’s Counsel was jailed for Perjury? Or a MP jailed a mere £500 false expenses claim? We don’t need to announce to the whole world that Nigerian leaders are the most corrupt in the world. It is evidently true that they have occupied that unenviable slot in mother earth and Mr Akiri himself knows it. That has sadly set our nation 55 years back when those colonial master Chris was referring to and denigrating were in-charge and calling the shots. They did not embezzle public funds for their own selfish aggrandisement. It is beyond comprehension to decipher from what planet Chris Akiri is operating from to suggest that as long as Ibori remains in jail in London, Nigerians and their governments will continue to wear the toga of ‘shame, disgrace, dishonour and embarrassment’. Is he seriously suggesting this or was he misquoted. That a nation that succeeded in sending a criminal behind bars for 13 should be ashamed of doing just that? That is exactly the sort of claptrap that can only emanate from ‘Faculty of Law, Amebo’s Advanced Law School, Lagos’’; and Mr Chris Akiri an Attorney-at-Law in Lagos knows this better than most of us.