UK says Nigerian's conviction stands despite bribery evidence

Jailed former Nigerian state governor James Ibori’s convictions remain valid despite evidence a British police officer took bribes during the investigation of his case, Britain’s state prosecution agency said on Thursday.

Ibori, who as governor of oil-producing Delta State from 1999 to 2007 was one of Nigeria’s most powerful men, is serving a 13-year sentence in a British prison after pleading guilty in 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering.

He is the most senior Nigerian politician to have been held to account for the corruption that has blighted Africa’s most populous nation for decades, and his jailing was hailed as a high point in the international fight against graft.

But the case has become an embarrassment for Britain since one of Ibori’s associates, convicted money-launderer Bhadresh Gohil, alleged that the judicial process was tainted because prosecutors had covered up evidence of police corruption.

Authorities initially denied everything and charged Gohil with perverting the course of justice, but that prosecution was abruptly dropped in January.

In May, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it had found “material to support the assertion that a police officer received payment in return for information”.

After an internal review of the case lasting months, the CPS said on Thursday that while the material “should have been disclosed to the defence”, that did not call into question the validity of the convictions of Ibori, Gohil and others.

Ibori’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gohil’s lawyer said he could not comment for legal reasons.

Court proceedings on the confiscation of Ibori’s assets are still dragging through the courts, and lawyers for Ibori and Gohil could use the next court hearing to challenge the findings of the CPS review.

Ibori first came to the attention of British police in 1991, when he was working as a cashier at Wickes, a home improvements chainstore in London, and was caught stealing from the till.

After returning to Nigeria, he became involved in politics. As governor of Delta, he amassed a huge fortune and became a power-broker in the PDP party then ruling the country.

The charges to which Ibori pleaded guilty amounted to the theft of about $80 million. Prosecutors said that was only part of his total booty, which was kept hidden via a complex web of shell companies, offshore accounts and front men.

During his sentencing in 2012, the court heard that he had enjoyed a lavish lifestyle involving foreign properties and a fleet of luxury cars. At the time of his arrest, he had been trying to buy a $20 million private jet.

 

Related Content

Nigeria further eases COVID-19 restrictions

Starting today, Nigeria has further relaxed restrictions on places of worship even as confirmed Covid-19 cases reach 10,578, Sam Chidoka, Managing Director and CEO of Kairos Capital joins CNBC Africa more.

9mobile’s new CEO shares plans for growth

The Board of Directors of 9mobile have announced the appointment of Alan Sinfield as the substantive Chief Executive Officer of the company. He joins CNBC Africa to discuss his plans for the company going forward.

Ghana taps technology for seamless customs procedures

As Ghana moves to adopt seamless procedures on the import and export of goods through an electronic customs management system. Yofi Grant, CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre joins CNBC Africa for more.

RMB’s outlook for Nigeria’s sugar industry

Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria says Dangote Sugar’s recently released FY 2019 and first-quarter results show an improvement in sales. Joining CNBC Africa to breakdown these earnings is Feyisike Ilemore, Research Analyst at RMB Nigeria.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

Cannon Asset Managers CEO on how to position your portfolio for a depression

In 2006, little known economics professor Nouriel Roubini warned that the US housing market was at risk of collapsing. Fast forward two years and it did, triggering the global financial crisis. Roubini, now known is Dr Doom is forecasting another economic depression, contradicting the consensus view the recovery from Covid-19 will be V-shaped. Dr Adrian Saville, CEO of Cannon Asset Managers joins CNBC Africa for more.

How Covid-19 is driving demand for internet services

With students working from home, companies across industries forced to move online and video conferencing services being more utilized now than ever; broadband, WiFi and mobile data capacity seems to be getting tested like never before. So can internet service providers stand up to the test? Robert Nkeramugaba, Senior Network Operations Manager, BSC joins CNBC Africa for more.

Uganda moves to phased reopening amid rising of COVID-19 cases

In Uganda, according to president Yoweri Museveni, the country will go ahead with its plan to re-open the country despite recording more than 150 Covid-19 cases in three days. Moreover, European Union gives Uganda about $198 million to fund coronavirus response. CNBC Africa spoke to Qatahar Raymond Mujuni, a journalist for more.

Nigerian Equities Wrap: Market momentum wanes

The consumer goods index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange was among the top-performing indices in May. Onyeka Ijeoma, Analyst at Vetiva joins CNBC Africa to discuss what to expect from the equities market this week....

Partner Content

Sanlam Emerging Markets and its partners on the African continent invest over $12 million to fight COVID-19

As we go through this global pandemic together, it is the little things we miss. A high five, a handshake, a walk...

VIVO CEO is a dynamic leader for this innovative global brand

May 2020 -- Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to...

Trending Now

When a barrel of oil was cheaper than your coffee | CNBC International

Demand for oil has fallen to unprecedented levels, resulting in oil prices turning negative for the first time in history. From the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia to the pandemic, CNBC’s Nessa Anwar explores what this might mean for the commodity in the long-term. ----- Subscribe to us on YouTube: http://cnb.cx/2wuoARM Subscribe to CNBC International TV on YouTube: https://cnb.cx/2NGytpz Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cnbcinternational Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cnbcinternational/ Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CNBCi...

COVID-19: Reopening aviation in South Africa

South Africa’s aviation sector partially reopened from Covid-19 lock-down’s this week, with the resumption of domestic business travel being allowed to take off. To understand what steps have been taken to maximise passenger safety at the country’s airports we speak with Refentse Shinners, Group Executive of Corporate affairs at the Airports Company of South Africa.

What It’s Like To Be A Professional Amazon Reviewer

Sean Cannell makes tens of thousands of dollars a month as a professional Amazon reviewer. As part of the Amazon Affiliate program, Cannell reviews camera gear on his Think Media YouTube channel and makes a cut of every sale those reviews generates o

Rebuilding South Africa’s construction sector

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with South Africa’s slowing economy has created a double setback for the construction industry. That’s according to financial services group Old Mutual. Last month construction firms, Group Five and Esor, both in business rescue announced that they would be delisting from the JSE. Today, WBHO warned annual profits would plunge 150 per cent, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 lock-downs. Ian Woodley, Analyst: Old Mutual Equities and Arthur Karas, Portfolio Manager: Old Mutual Investment Group Macro Solutions join CNBC Africa for more.
- Advertisement -