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Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

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  • Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji
    who is fooling who ... From: Daniel Elombah Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Ibori: I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption To:
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 29, 2012
      who is fooling who

      --- On Wed, 2/29/12, Daniel Elombah <elombahperspective@...> wrote:

      From: Daniel Elombah <elombahperspective@...>
      Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '
      To: "NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com" <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 5:18 PM

    • Chukwuemeka Okala
        Ibori: I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption Written by elombah.com    Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39 Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
         
        Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
        Written by elombah.com   
        Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
        Ibori
        Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
         intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
         
        Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
         
        But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
         
        The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
         
        Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
         
        Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
         
        In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
        He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
         
        After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
         
        After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
         
        "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

        He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

        "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
         
        But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
         
        A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
         
        "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
         
        "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
         
        Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
         
        The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
         
        "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

        "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
         
        Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

        Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

        "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
         
        But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
         
        "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
         
        "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
         
        Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
         
        "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
         
        But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
         
        Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
         
        "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
         
        James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
        Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

        As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
        We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
         
        Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

        He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

        Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

        "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
        He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

        In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
        He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
        The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

        www.elombah.com

      • Christopher Lawson
        This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
          This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
          If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
           

          To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
          From: reukal@...
          Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
          Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

           
           
          Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
          Written by elombah.com   
          Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
          Ibori
          Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
           intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
           
          Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
           
          But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
           
          The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
           
          Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
           
          Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
           
          In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
          He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
           
          After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
           
          After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
           
          "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

          He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

          "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
           
          But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
           
          A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
           
          "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
           
          "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
           
          Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
           
          The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
           
          "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

          "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
           
          Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

          Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

          "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
           
          But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
           
          "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
           
          "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
           
          Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
           
          "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
           
          But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
           
          Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
           
          "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
           
          James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
          Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

          As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
          We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
           
          Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

          He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

          Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

          "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
          He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

          In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
          He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
          The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

          www.elombah.com


        • joe_esenwa@yahoo.com
          R Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile. ... From: Christopher Lawson Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
            R
            Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

            From: Christopher Lawson <captlawson@...>
            Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:21:01 +0000
            To: <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
            ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

             

            This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
            If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
             

            To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
            From: reukal@...
            Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
            Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

             
             
            Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
            Written by elombah.com   
            Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
            Ibori
            Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
             intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
             
            Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
             
            But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
             
            The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
             
            Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
             
            Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
             
            In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
            He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
             
            After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
             
            After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
             
            "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

            He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

            "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
             
            But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
             
            A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
             
            "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
             
            "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
             
            Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
             
            The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
             
            "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

            "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
             
            Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

            Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

            "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
             
            But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
             
            "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
             
            "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
             
            Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
             
            "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
             
            But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
             
            Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
             
            "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
             
            James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
            Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

            As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
            We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
             
            Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

            He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

            Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

            "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
            He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

            In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
            He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
            The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

            www.elombah.com


          • joe_esenwa@yahoo.com
            U Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile. ... From: Christopher Lawson Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
              U
              Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

              From: Christopher Lawson <captlawson@...>
              Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:21:01 +0000
              To: <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
              ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

               

              This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
              If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
               

              To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
              From: reukal@...
              Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
              Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

               
               
              Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
              Written by elombah.com   
              Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
              Ibori
              Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
               intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
               
              Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
               
              But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
               
              The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
               
              Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
               
              Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
               
              In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
              He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
               
              After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
               
              After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
               
              "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

              He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

              "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
               
              But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
               
              A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
               
              "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
               
              "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
               
              Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
               
              The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
               
              "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

              "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
               
              Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

              Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

              "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
               
              But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
               
              "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
               
              "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
               
              Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
               
              "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
               
              But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
               
              Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
               
              "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
               
              James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
              Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

              As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
              We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
               
              Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

              He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

              Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

              "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
              He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

              In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
              He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
              The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

              www.elombah.com


            • sunny igboanugo
              Lawson That is why you should listen and learn. There are two components to the Ibori case in London. One component deals with the issue of massive corruption,
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
                Lawson
                That is why you should listen and learn. There are two components to the Ibori case in London. One component deals with the issue of massive corruption, stealing of money belonging to Delta State Government when he was in power, which is the main issue in the 170-count charge against him in Nigeria, which was eventually dismissed and appealed against by the EFCC. The other deals with some properties traced to him in London. Just like in Nigeria, the first leg of the case was seen as a dead end by the London court for lack of evidence, the same conclusion in Nigeria. The second case, Ibori did not contest because no concrete proof will be required beyond what the jury, made up of all-white people will think. Being a wise man, he took the advice of cutting his losses - saving the money he would have paid lawyers in a case he is sure will not go his way in the end, settle down to serve a prison sentence and save himself further hassles. That is the profile of the case. But what has happened is that because the men of the Metropolitan Police in London and the prosecutor already have an audience in large group of Nigerians who are eagerly awaiting the worst to happen to Ibori, the man they have chosen for whatever reasons to make the face of corruption in Nigeria, in spite of the numerous greater thieves that abound, they were all too eager to upload the contents of the corruption, charges have gone caput; Dead on Arrival (DOA), to this gullible audience as what Ibori has admitted to. No. Fafafaa  Foul. They don't want to admit their failure; that they have also failed the same way the EFCC also failed. So, understand it, if you still have a space in your brain or heart that by the time Ibori is being sentenced, no reference will be made on the case of stealing Delta State money, but on the fact that Ibori cannot explain the source of some properties traced to him. Don't let anybody deceive you otherwise.

                --- On Thu, 1/3/12, joe_esenwa@... <joe_esenwa@...> wrote:

                From: joe_esenwa@... <joe_esenwa@...>
                Subject: Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '
                To: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, 1 March, 2012, 2:38

                 
                R
                Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

                From: Christopher Lawson <captlawson@...>
                Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:21:01 +0000
                To: <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
                ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                 
                This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
                If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
                 

                To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
                From: reukal@...
                Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
                Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                 
                 
                Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
                Written by elombah.com   
                Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
                Ibori
                Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
                 intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                 
                Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
                 
                But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
                 
                The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
                 
                Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
                 
                Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
                 
                In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
                He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                 
                After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
                 
                After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
                 
                "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

                He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

                "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
                 
                But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
                 
                A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
                 
                "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
                 
                "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
                 
                Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
                 
                The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
                 
                "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

                "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
                 
                Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

                Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

                "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
                 
                But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
                 
                "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
                 
                "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
                 
                Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
                 
                "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
                 
                But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
                 
                Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
                 
                "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
                 
                James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
                Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

                As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
                We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
                 
                Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

                He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

                Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

                "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
                He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

                In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
                He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
                The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

                www.elombah.com


              • Prince Adetule
                I thought the season of denial has come and gone with ages. Nigeria we hail thee... Prince Adetule Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T ... From: joe_esenwa@yahoo.com
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
                  I thought the season of denial has come and gone with ages. Nigeria we hail thee...

                  Prince Adetule
                  Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

                  From: joe_esenwa@...
                  Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 10:38:39 +0000
                  To: <NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com>
                  ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                   

                  U

                  Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

                  From: Christopher Lawson <captlawson@...>
                  Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:21:01 +0000
                  To: <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
                  ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                   

                  This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
                  If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
                   

                  To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
                  From: reukal@...
                  Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
                  Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                   
                   
                  Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
                  Written by elombah.com   
                  Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
                  Ibori
                  Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
                   intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                   
                  Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
                   
                  But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
                   
                  The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
                   
                  Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
                   
                  Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
                   
                  In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
                  He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                   
                  After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
                   
                  After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
                   
                  "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

                  He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

                  "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
                   
                  But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
                   
                  A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
                   
                  "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
                   
                  "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
                   
                  Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
                   
                  The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
                   
                  "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

                  "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
                   
                  Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

                  Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

                  "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
                   
                  But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
                   
                  "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
                   
                  "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
                   
                  Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
                   
                  "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
                   
                  But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
                   
                  Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
                   
                  "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
                   
                  James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
                  Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

                  As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
                  We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
                   
                  Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

                  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

                  Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

                  "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
                  He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

                  In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
                  He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
                  The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

                  www.elombah.com


                • Amiel Fagbulu
                  Dear All, The posting by Sunny Igboanugo attempting to interpret what Ibori did or did not do seems startling to me. I have tried to listen to, and learn from
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 1, 2012
                    Dear All,

                    The posting by Sunny Igboanugo attempting to interpret what Ibori did or did not do seems startling to me. I have tried to listen to, and learn from him as he advised Lawson to, but I find it difficult to see anything to learn from all that he had to say. 

                    Ibori's wife has been convicted for laundering money for Ibori - yes
                    Ibori's sister has been convicted for laundering money for Ibori - yes
                    Ibori's girl-friend has been convicted for laundering money for Ibori  - yes
                    Ibori's solicitor or whatever has been convicted for assisting Ibori in laundering money - yes.
                    The money being laundered was Ibori's according to these people who were close to him and who should know who had the money being moved around.

                    Is this therefore not a case of BABA JO'NA O'N BERE IRUGBON? If Baba was roasted in the fire, should anyone be asking where Baba's beard is? To blame his guaranteed passage to prison on an all-green or all-yellow jury is to say the least uncharitable and self-serving. Ibori was roasted long ago when those who served him got their fingers burnt and admitted or were found guilty of laundering money for him.  Ibori is not guilty by association. The gullible or greedy women in his life and his lawyer are those who are.

                    It is a matter of record that Ibori was an ordinary Nigerian working on a modest pay in the UK at a DIY outfit when he was convicted for stealing. Please sir, Ibori has stamped himself a thief before coming back to Nigeria. There is no record of his holding any high-paying job since his return other than being a governor. Could someone please tell us where the large sums of money being laundered came from? Unless the large sums can be accounted for, commonsense suggests - merely suggests - that a thief who once stole from his employers in England may be - again, may be - at work again stealing from his office as governor of Delta State.

                    His wife admitted in court that she had been convicted in an English court with Ibori  for stealing prior to returning to Nigeria to become first lady and governor respectively.
                    She had no option because records exist and judges could not be bribed easily as is the case in Nigeria. Can Ibori be given the benefit of doubt that he was not the person convicted in Nigeria especially with all the drama and loss of documents that were involved?

                    When was Ibori born? He lied about his age too. Did the white people make him do all these things?

                    It is very sad that anyone can gloat that Ibori's legal triumphs in Nigeria prove his innocence. It is like adding insult to everything else to dismiss with a wave of the hand a serious issue like this by saying that what he pleaded guilty to was 'some properties traced to him in London'. How much are those properties worth? Are those not the pointers to where the alleged  stolen money ended? If he is innocent, one would expect him to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the source was clean and was not laundered. He did not have to plea-bargain for such an easy thing to prove.

                    I got the money from A in country X, town Y on date T through Bank C. It could have been a loan, gift, or stolen money but then the onus would have been on A to prove. Why can't we check things we say and stop accusing others of not listening or learning?

                    Playing the racist card in 2012 does not get the sympathy of serious people. We as Nigerians should bow our heads in shame that one of us has proved to the world once again that we are the inventors and  masters of the  419 game. Let us be honest with one another and work towards a solution that will greatly reduce the possibility of a thief and a fraudster gaining admission into our highest offices again. We do not need to tear one another apart neither do we need to weep for Ibori.

                    It is the truth that can set us free.


                    Amiel Fagbulu





                    From: sunny igboanugo <odengusng@...>
                    To: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thursday, March 1, 2012 9:23 PM
                    Subject: Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                     
                    Lawson
                    That is why you should listen and learn. There are two components to the Ibori case in London. One component deals with the issue of massive corruption, stealing of money belonging to Delta State Government when he was in power, which is the main issue in the 170-count charge against him in Nigeria, which was eventually dismissed and appealed against by the EFCC. The other deals with some properties traced to him in London. Just like in Nigeria, the first leg of the case was seen as a dead end by the London court for lack of evidence, the same conclusion in Nigeria. The second case, Ibori did not contest because no concrete proof will be required beyond what the jury, made up of all-white people will think. Being a wise man, he took the advice of cutting his losses - saving the money he would have paid lawyers in a case he is sure will not go his way in the end, settle down to serve a prison sentence and save himself further hassles. That is the profile of the case. But what has happened is that because the men of the Metropolitan Police in London and the prosecutor already have an audience in large group of Nigerians who are eagerly awaiting the worst to happen to Ibori, the man they have chosen for whatever reasons to make the face of corruption in Nigeria, in spite of the numerous greater thieves that abound, they were all too eager to upload the contents of the corruption, charges have gone caput; Dead on Arrival (DOA), to this gullible audience as what Ibori has admitted to. No. Fafafaa  Foul. They don't want to admit their failure; that they have also failed the same way the EFCC also failed. So, understand it, if you still have a space in your brain or heart that by the time Ibori is being sentenced, no reference will be made on the case of stealing Delta State money, but on the fact that Ibori cannot explain the source of some properties traced to him. Don't let anybody deceive you otherwise.

                    --- On Thu, 1/3/12, joe_esenwa@... <joe_esenwa@...> wrote:

                    From: joe_esenwa@... <joe_esenwa@...>
                    Subject: Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '
                    To: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, 1 March, 2012, 2:38

                     
                    R
                    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

                    From: Christopher Lawson <captlawson@...>
                    Sender: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:21:01 +0000
                    To: <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
                    ReplyTo: NIgerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                     
                    This is a starting attempt to misinform the Nigerian public and borders on a criminal act. Im sure both the met and the judiciary will be interested in this because it makes allegations of police and judical conivance to cover up a crime!
                    If Prisoner Ibori was soo sure of his position why deal and accept a JAIL sentence for offences he claims not to have commited? Innocent men don't go to jail without a good fight so why give up the opportunity to have your day in court?
                     

                    To: Naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com; Talknigeria@yahoogroups.com; NigerianWorldForum@yahoogroups.com; nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
                    From: reukal@...
                    Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:08:25 +0000
                    Subject: [NIgerianWorldForum] Fw: [Nigeria360::Live] Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption '

                     
                     
                    Ibori: 'I Did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption 'PDFPrintE-mail
                    Written by elombah.com   
                    Wednesday, 29 February 2012 16:39
                    Ibori
                    Chief James Ibori has insisted that contrary to news reports of the past few days, he did Not Plead Guilty To Corruption. This comes as members of Ibori's legal team also insists that the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team after several private meetings with the Judge and the Crown Prosecution Service, CPS. Ibori's Lawyers insist that "the
                     intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices that show Police corruption, in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                     
                    Speaking on Ibori's behalf, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, Ibori’s Media Assistant told elombah.com that  "news reports of the last court session have been twisted to insane levels by media manipulation and direct disinformation and misinformation". 
                     
                    But legal observers dismissed such postures as mere spin. 
                     
                    The former governor of Delta State, on Monday pleaded guilty in a London court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud.  He is due to be sentenced on 16 April. 
                     
                    Eluemunor said "What was not clear to Nigerians was that the Prosecution lawyers were labouring at damage control as the publication in several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday had leaked out the secret that the seven-year investigation against Ibori had not only cost the British taxpayer £14 million but was funded by the DfID – the Department of Foreign Development. The Proesecution then laboured hard to justify the money spent and stave off another official inquiry into the much investigated London Metropolitan Police, that have been accused often of grave misdeeds". 
                     
                    Ibori's decision to make a guilty plea to 10 counts on the first indictment and 3 on the V-Mobile case came as a shock to many Nigerians, even though elombah.com got wind of the development two days in advance.
                     
                    In what many observers will take with a pinch of salt,  a member of Ibori's Legal team yesterday told elombah.com, the ex-governor took such a step after several private meetings with the Judge and CPS, and "it appeared the prosecution struck a deal with the defence team".  
                    He alleged that "the intention behind this deal was to cover up the invoices in which Tom Harper of the Evening Standard reported about last October."
                     
                    After a series of first-hand inquiries, the legal source source revealed "it was a desperate bid to save the officers from being suspended and Ibori blowing up the matter of police corruption in open court".
                     
                    After discussions with a solicitor who is associated with the Ibori defence team, they are saying that “it was a sensible result for the prosecution as the whole case could have potentially collapsed if Ibori followed through with exposing police malpractice”.
                     
                    "You will recall, I told you a while ago about the corruption that took place during the Ibori investigation, which was surrounding a Private Detective agency called RISC Management Limited", he said. 

                    He claimed further the invoices evidenced that police officers (those in Ibori’s case) took payments for information via a notoriously corrupt private detective agency – RISC Management Limited. "The plea deal includes covering up the misconduct of police officers."

                    "I am in contact with the source that managed to get hold of the invoices", the Lawyer said.
                     
                    But so far, the Lawyer has failed or neglected to provide Elombah investigators with the alleged invoices even after we have requested to see them, despite assurances that elombah should not "hesitate to contact me if you are interested in this matter and would like to investigate further". 
                     
                    A Nigerian Lawyer based in London told elombah.com such claims are "nonsense". The Lawyer who claimed he advised the legal team last year to cut their losses and plead guilty said there is no way Ibori would not have got at least 15 years jail term if the case had gone to full trial.
                     
                    "Even with this guilty plea, Ibori would still be looking at not less that 5 to 7 years in jail, minus the two years he has already spent in detention", the lawyer said. The Lawyer said indications are that Ibori would probably get 30 percent off the original jail term he might have got. 
                     
                    "Do not forget Ibori's Lawyer, Bahdresh Gohil had earlier got 8 years despite pleading guilty", he added. 
                     
                    Mr Eluemunor on his part said Chief James Onanefe Ibori has advised Nigerians not to be misled by the news reports saying Ibori pleaded guilty corruption. 
                     
                    The Media Assistant to Ibori said "the world was made to believe that Ibori’s guilty plea was a sudden turn around and not a well-deliberated act that was part of a plea bargain deal. But it is on record that several Nigerian newspapers of last Sunday published different versions of that self same story; that Ibori would plead guilty as part of a plea bargain arrangement".
                     
                    "Of course, that plea bargain deal would only kick in with Ibori’s pleading guilty; which he did this week Monday", Elumunor insists.    

                    "After that plea, which had been successfully foretold by Nigerian newspapers, both the Prosecution and the Defence Counsels were to return on 16th and 17th April to make their needed statements. Unfortunately, while Ibori’s lead counsel stayed true to this time-tested legal procedure, the Prosecution Counsels went rogue and began to make wild and unfounded statements aimed at nothing but self-glorification and Ibori’s demonization", Eluemunor said.
                     
                    Many Nigerians though dismiss Eluemunors protestations as mere spin.  "Some people really do have Ph. D in damage control (aka, spin)", said Bonaventure Ezekwena.

                    Speaking to elombah.com, the publisher of 'Africans In America News Watch', a New York City publication said: "To us laymen, Plea Bargain means that a defendant facing criminal charges has agreed with the prosecutor to admit guilt to some or all the charges in exchange for 'something' from the state. That 'something' could be a number of things; example: save money and time by avoiding costly and lenghty trial, save major embarrassment and greater shame by avoiding public 'reliving', dramatization of details of crimes. The 'something' may also include: prosecutor agreeing not to push for maximum jail term, leaving it to the court to decide without any push by prosecutor, etc."

                    "The state benefits from Plea Bargain because money that would have been spent in prosecuting the case would be saved. Some people, in the name of spin could see hip of shit and call it 'hip of aroma'", Bonaventure concluded. 
                     
                    But Eluemunor disagrees, he said the London Metropolitan Police invited droves of media agencies and several statements to justify their jamborees in the sun, whereby agents visited the far-flung corners of the Earth with little to show for their efforts. They even visited Nigeria three times, and lowly policemen who had never shaken hands with their British superiors had dinner with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the deep recesses of Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
                     
                    "Some of the statements were contradictory; some totally wild and even insane.  The circus was so much in session that some British Police officials were promising that the money Ibori allegedly used in purchasing a Challenger Private jet built by the Bombadier company of Canada would soon be retuned to Nigerians. Yet, newspaper readers will easily remember that last Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in various news reports that they had just questioned a businessman, through whom Ibori allegedly laundered money in the guise of buying a jet, that was never really bought. So how on Earth could the same aircraft be at the same time bought and un-bought? Even then, confiscation hearings will not begin till August, so why were they announcing figures even in February? Massive deception was at work!
                     
                    "Worst of all, several foreign media quoted the London Police list of landed properties they claimed belonged to Ibori, that they promised to confiscate. But any who has followed the cases concerning Ibori’s sister and Udoamaka Okoronkwo would have noticed that some of the same buildings featured prominently there. The truth is that what is at stake in London for now is just about three average buildings, finish."
                     
                    Contacted on the debate about the implication of Ibori pleading guilty, a London lawyer told elombah.com Ibori people should be careful with pushing this 'plea bargain stuff, because Ibori is yet to be sentenced'.
                     
                    "You know that plea bargaining is not officially recognized in the United Kingdom, whatever arrangements if any with Ibori prosecutors is at best an informal arrangement, a gentleman's agreement. My fear is that if these plea bargain gets into mainstream British press, Ibori may receive a very harsh sentence on April 1!"
                     
                    But Eluemunor said "What matters to Ibori is that all corruption charges were dropped by the London Police for lack of evidence".
                     
                    Continuing he said "Any claim that any corruption charge is facing him is pure propaganda. He did not plead guilty to any corruption charge. With the corruption charges removed because they could not be proved beyond any reasonable doubt, the Police stayed with money laundering charges, to be proved by nothing but inference – the convincing of a jury of white persons. No proof, no evidence would be needed then, no documentary truths would be established.  
                     
                    "The British and the Nigerian establishments have been driving this case to a pre-determined end, and a battle weary Ibori was advised to plead guilty, end what had promised to be a long-drawn trial, and begin to rebuild his life which had been tossed about in an ocean of legal controversy and trials because of politics - since 2003, that is nine long years ago. Also, Ibori did not want a long-drawn trial where Nigeria's name would be bandied about in a forign court," Tony Elumunor concluded.
                     
                    James Ibori, a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil-producing states, pleaded guilty in a UK court to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. British police accuse him of stealing $250m (£160m) over eight years. The prosecutor called him a "thief in government house".
                    Mr Ibori, once seen as one of Nigeria's wealthiest and most influential politicians, was arrested in 2010 in Dubai and then extradited to London.

                    As his trial at London's Southwark Crown Court was about to begin, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta state and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies.
                    We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta state”, said Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police.
                     
                    Prosecuting QC Sasha Wass said Mr Ibori, 53, had "tricked" his way into becoming Delta state governor, by giving a false date of birth and claiming he had no criminal record. "He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was able to plunder Delta state's wealth and hand out patronage."

                    He is due to be sentenced on 16 April.

                    Mr Ibori's wife, Theresa, his sister, Christine, his mistress, Udoamaaka Okoronkwo, and his London solicitor, Bhadresh Gohil, have all been convicted of money-laundering. Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had asked the UK's Metropolitan police to look into the ex-governor's financial affairs. "The vast sums of money involved were used to fund Mr Ibori's lavish lifestyle," Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore, the officer in charge of the investigation, said.

                    "We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State."
                    He said that the money Mr Ibori stole should have been used to pay for sanitation, power supplies and healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world.

                    In 2007, a UK court froze assets allegedly belonging to him worth $35m. His annual salary as Delta state governor was less than $25,000.
                    He had already left the UK when his assets were seized but he was arrested in Nigeria later that year.
                    The charges were later dropped but he was then re-arrested in Dubai on a British warrant. 

                    www.elombah.com




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