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Delta Former Governor's Appeal in London Case Enters Second Day

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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The legal team of Delta State former governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who was convicted of money laundry and was subsequently jailed in London Prison, has shown confirmation of police corruption as his case with the London Metropolitan Police entered the second day at Court of Appeal in London.

The Media Assistant to the former governor, Tony Eluemunor, in a press statement disclosed that a police officer, DC John McDonald, was mainly at the end of Ibori’s finger pointing because that particular officer was at the heart of the cases which started in 2006, and he has been the topic of several police investigations and has been accepted by the British Crown Prosecution Service as being corrupt.

According to Eluemunor, Ibori’s lawyers made three key submissions which are:

1. That the lead case officer, DC McDonald was corrupt and accepted brides and they provided heaps of evidence in support.

2. That the Met police deliberately covered up the corruption from 2007 till the end of the case.

3. That the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) then failed to make proper disclosure of the Police corruption to the defence team.

The Court was told that the conduct of Prosecution was of such gravity that to maintain conviction would bring the globally respected British administration of justice into disrepute because the Crown Prosecution had mislead the Courts and Court of Appeal on several occasions.

“For instance, Ms. Sasha Wass QC told UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions personally around 20 Jan 2016, that the disclosed evidence confirms that DC McDonald was corrupt,”Eluemunor stated.

“She described the evidence the Met Police had as high-grade intelligence but which, staggeringly, has never been provided to the Defence teams. Wass stated that she would not be prepared to prosecute any case in which DC McDonald was involved owing to the man’s track record in the Ibori case.

“Wass claimed that there were multiple instances where DC McDonald was paid bribes by Cliff Knuckey.

“The evidence comprised an internal Met Police anti-corruption report which demonstrated clear evidence including telephone traffic between RISC and some Police officers.

“DC McDonald was known as ‘C22’in the records and was in receipt of payments even in another case too. ‘Source A’ intelligence in the possession of the Met confirmed a payment in September 2007. It was described by Sasha Wass QC as reliable and high grade intelligence in her statement.

“The Met deliberately failed to properly investigate the findings by prematurely closing down the investigation, known as Operation Limonium which revealed a deeply corrupt relationship between RISC and Police in particular, the Proceeds of Corruption Unit ‘POCU’. Operation Limonium would have severely damaged the Metropolitan Police reputation.

“This failure was deliberate and was done to protect the Police and maintain the Ibori investigation.”

He revealed that Operation Limonium identified multiple strands of corruption involving RISC and other police officers adding that it appears that the MPS had recognized the potential consequences to scuppering the Ibori investigation.

“The internal Met report described RISC as NIM Level 3 Red 55 IDG matrix – an aggressive corruptor of the police and engaged in a cycle of corruption,” he continued.

“The UK aid agency, the Department for International Development (DFID) was funding the police unit even by December 2006. It was noted that the UK aid agency had spent some £4.9m on the police unit in which DC McDonald was working.

“Regular reports were made from the Police to DFID and this provided one of the key reasons why the Police did not to lose this slush source of funding.”

Eluemunor stated that Henry Blaxland QC appeared for Udaomaka Onuigbo. He submitted that the court should find that the police deliberately covered up the DC McDonald’s corruption in this case, which represents an abuse of process.

He argued that the integrity of the Court process has been compromised. The disclosed Met Police dated 15 Feb 2007 Intelligence Log confirms her legal professional privilege was compromised.

“The non-disclosure has also been significant and repeated the Courts observation that DC McDonald as fortunate to escape prosecution previously,” he declared.

In the same vein, David Emmanuel appeared for Christine Ibori. Emmanuel argued that her legal professional privilege was violated.

“DC McDonald played a vital role in her prosecution and the corruption plainly affects the safety of the convictions,” he insisted.

Also, Christopher Convey represented Lambertus De Boer. De Boer was appealing the V Mobile Case. Convey argued there had been police corruption and non-disclosure which rendered the convictions unsafe.

“Convey identified a number of significant disclosure failings which would have assisted the defence. The original case was deeply flawed and the evidence did not support the prosecution case,” he said.