TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Crown, Ibori Even As Trial Is Set For February 13

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
FORMER DELTA STATE GOVERNOR, CHIEF JAMES IBORI.
FORMER DELTA STATE GOVERNOR, CHIEF JAMES IBORI.
Listen to article

… Ibori Had Earlier Turned Down Plea Deal Bargain

SAN FRANCISCO, December 15, (THEWILL) – The crown prosecution and the defence team of former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori were square in court Thursday at the pre-trial ruling by the Southwark Crown Court where Judge Geoffrey Rivlin set February 13, 2011 for the commencement of the money laundering trial preferred against him.

Defendants in the trial, Ibori and financial advisor, Mr. Elias Preko were formally arraigned today where they entered a ‘not guilty plea’ in an amended 14 count-indictment as exclusively reported by THEWILL previously.

THEWILL can also exclusively report that Ibori and the prosecution had earlier explored a plea deal option which fell through after crown insisted on 10 years in jail in exchange for a guilty plea. The Ibori defence turned down the offer.

The court had set today to decide on a couple of requests made by both the crown prosecution and Ibori’s defence.

At the ruling, Judge Rivlin rejected the request of the Crown to severe count one which Ibori’s legal team had earlier objected to. Count one is premised mainly on money laundering and the prosecution had wanted it severed because it felt it didn’t have a water tight evidence to nail the former governor on that count.

The court also rejected Ibori’s request to have a trial without jury, having argued that members of the jury could easily research materials on Ibori on the internet and thus may not give a fair verdict.

The court further agreed with the prosecution that it has jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Ibori was arrested in Dubai in May 2009 on a red notice issued by Interpol following a request by the Metropolitan Police.

THE INDICTMENT
IN THE CROWN COURT SITTING AT SOUTHWARK

THE QUEEN –v- JAMES ONANEFE IBORI & ELIAS NIMHO PREKO

JAMES ONANEFE IBORI and ELIAS NIMHO PREKO are charged as follows:

COUNT 1
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Conspiracy to Defraud, Contrary to Common Law
PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of June 1999 and the 29th day of May 2007 conspired together with Christine Omatie Ibori-Ibie, Udoamaka Onuigbo (also known as Okoronkwo) and others to defraud the Delta State Government, Nigeria, by dishonestly, among other matters:

(i) being a party to an inflated price fraud in respect of the contract for the building of a sports track for the Delta State Government at the Oghara Stadium;

(ii) being a party to the provision of an inflated invoice fraud in respect of the supply of vehicles to the Delta State Government;

(iii) diverting cash from the Delta State Treasury to his personal benefit; and

(iv) continuing to run and profit from, undeclared, businesses including known as MER Engineering Ltd and Koln Ltd.

COUNT 2
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Conspiracy to commit money laundering under section 93C(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of May 1999 and the 24th day of March 2003 conspired together with, Christine Omatie Ibori-Ibie and others to

(i) conceal or disguise property which was, or in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, represented his proceeds of criminal conduct; or

(ii) convert or transfer that property or remove it from the jurisdiction,

for the purposes of avoiding prosecution for an offence to which Part Six of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies.

COUNT 3
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Money laundering, contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 24th day of March 2003 and the 30th day of May 2007 together with Udoamaka Onuigbo (also known as Okoronkwo), Christine Omatie Ibori-Ibie and others, entered into or became concerned in an arrangement, which he knew or suspected facilitated, by whatever means, the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of himself, James Onanefe Ibori.

COUNT 4
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Obtaining a property transfer by deception, contrary to section 15a of the Theft Act 1968.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori, on or about the 4th day of February 1999 dishonestly obtained for himself or another a money transfer from SunBank Mortgages PLC in the sum of £157,500 being a loan by way of mortgage in respect of the property known as Flat 23, 20 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, London NW8 by deception, namely by making false representations, among others, that:

(i) His date of birth was 4 August 1958;
(ii) He was self employed at Diat Newspapers, 61, Queen Street, Jabo, Yaba, Lagos Nigeria, established there for 10 years;

(iii) He had not had any County Court judgments entered against him; and

(iv) He had not failed to keep up with payments on mortgages, rent or loan agreements.

COUNT 5
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Money laundering, contrary to section 93C(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of January 2001 and the 31st day of December 2001 together with Theresa Nkoyo Ibori and others concealed or disguised property, namely a quantity of cash which was the proceeds of criminal conduct, or in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, represented the proceeds of criminal conduct by means of converting or transferring that cash into real property known as 7 Westover Hill, Hampstead, NW3 7VH for the purpose of avoiding prosecution for an offence to which Part Six of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies.

COUNT 6
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Money laundering, contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 24th day of March 2003 and the 31st day of December 2004, together with Udoamaka Onuigbo (also known as Okoronkwo) and others concealed and disguised criminal property namely a quantity of cash by converting it into real property, namely Flat 36, Hunter Lodge, Admiral’s Walk, Harrow, London W9 3TQ knowing or suspecting that the property constituted his benefit from criminal conduct, or that it represented such a benefit in whole or in part, and whether directly or indirectly.

COUNT 7
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Money laundering, contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of April 2005 and the 28th day of February 2007, together with Theresa Nkoyo Ibori, Bhadresh Gohil and others, entered into or became involved in an arrangement, namely using a client account of Arlingtons Sharmas Solicitors as the personal bank account of Mr and Theresa Ibori, which they knew or suspected facilitated (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property.

COUNT 8
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
Money laundering, contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of April 2005 and the 30th day of August 2005 together with Theresa Nkoyo Ibori, Udoamaka Onuigbo (also known as Okoronkwo), Bhadresh Gohil and others concealed and disguised criminal property namely a quantity of cash by converting it into real property, namely 42, Great Ground, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8FF, knowing or suspecting that the property constituted his benefit from criminal conduct, or that it represented such a benefit in whole or in part, and whether directly or indirectly.

COUNT 9
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
MONEY LAUNDERING, contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori between the 1st day of April 2005 and the 1st day of December 2007, together with Bhadresh Gohil and others, entered into or became involved in an arrangement, namely an attempt to purchase a Challenger Jet aircraft from Bombadier Inc., which he knew or suspected facilitated (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of himself, James Onanefe Ibori.

COUNT 10
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
MONEY LAUNDERING, contrary to section 93A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
ELIAS NIMHO PREKO between the 1st day of February 2000 and the 24th day of March 2003, together with James Onanefe Ibori and others, entered into an arrangement, namely the management of corporate vehicles known as Zircon Trust and Zeta Ltd in Guernsey, which he knew or suspected facilitated (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of James Onanefe Ibori.

COUNT 11
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
MONEY LAUNDERING, contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori and Elias Nimho Preko, between the 24th day of March 2003 and the 31st day of December 2005, on an occasion other than in Charge 6, together with Udoamaka Onuigbo (also known as Okoronkwo) and others, entered into or became involved in an arrangement, namely the management of corporate vehicles known as the Zircon Trust and Zeta Ltd, which he knew or suspected facilitated by whatever means the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of himself, James Onanefe Ibori.

COUNT 12
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
MONEY LAUNDERING, contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
James Onanefe Ibori and Elias Nimho Preko, between the 1st day of May 2004 and the 2nd day of April 2008, together with others, entered into or became involved in an arrangement, namely the management of corporate vehicles known as the Onyx Trust, Alantar Ltd and Manapouri Ltd in Guernsey, which they knew or suspected facilitated (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of James Onanefe Ibori.

COUNT 13
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
FORGERY, contrary to section 1 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
Elias Nimho Preko, on or about the 13th day of January 2004, forged a document, namely an Investment Management Agreement, between DECA Investment Management Limited and Zeta Ltd, which was false and which he knew to be false in that:

a. He signed it on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited when he was not authorised to sign on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited; and

b. It purported to be signed on the authority and with the permission of DECA Investment Management Limited when he was not authorised to sign it on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited and did not have their permission to do so.

COUNT 14
STATEMENT OF OFFENCE
FORGERY, contrary to section 1 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

PARTICULARS OF OFFENCE
Elias Nimho Preko, on or about the 8th day of September 2004, forged a document, namely an Investment Management Agreement, between DECA Investment Management Limited and Alantar Ltd, which was false in that:

a. He signed it on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited when he was not authorised to sign on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited; and

b. It purported to be signed on the authority and with the permission of DECA Investment Management Limited when he was not authorised to sign it on behalf of DECA Investment Management Limited and did not have their permission to do so.