Mr. Simon Kolawole, in “The Welcome Party For Ibori” article (THISDAY newspaper of Sunday December 25, 2016, decried the massive celebrations Chief James Onanefe Ibori’s release from UK jail elicited.
He adjudged the celebrations “spontaneous and sincere” but listed several reasons he found them appalling; thus repeating the falsehoods the manipulated mass media has been unleashing against Ibori.
In “Why Supporters Celebrated Ibori’s Release” (backpage of 1st January 2017 THISDAY newspaper”) I relied on court records alone to show the documentary evidence the Nigerian judiciary relied on to conclude that the Bwari Upper Area Court judgment that claimed to have convicted one James Onanefe Ibori was a forgery.
A case concerning Shuaibu Anyebe, a night watchman who could not account for two bundles of zinc, was doctored to read James Ibori’s and the amount changed from N10,000 to N110 million.
I left one salient issue untouched: those behind the forgeries and what compelled their action.
The ex-convict case was the takeoff plot against Ibori; other plots continued when it failed until Ibori was forced to flee Nigeria to save his endangered life.
But why the plots?
Ahead of 2003 General Elections, Ibori hosted 15 of the 21 Peoples Democratic Party Governors at the Delta State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, and they agreed to oppose former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s re-nomination owing to his dictatorial and vindictive tendencies against independent-minded politicians.
From there, Ibori led the delegation of Governors (including Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and Bonnie Haruna) to inform the then PDP chairman, Audu Ogbeh of the decision by 2 am.
Ogbeh informed Obasanjo immediately.
From that November 2002 night till just two days to the January 2003 PDP Annual Convention, the coalition of 15 Governors held and had a breakfast meeting with Obasanjo and the PDP leadership where Vice President Atiku Abubakar told Obasanjo that he was very dictatorial, vindictive and unforgiving.
Obasanjo appealed for support and promised to change; he got a reprieve.
I told Ibori at the 2003 PDP convention that Obasanjo would never forgive him for the “failed coup”.
When Ibori congratulated Obasanjo for his re-nomination, which came after the Governors had relented and supported him, Obasanjo told him that he, Ibori, had canvassed the view:
“I Obasanjo was unsellable, unmarketable, and unelectable; all your life I will make you Ibori unsellable, unmarketable and unelectable”.
So, when three weeks after the convention, the ex-convict allegation arose, its source was clear.
When the controversial court case ended in Ibori’s favour and Ibori went to Aso Rock to tell Obasanjo of his victory, Obasanjo fired off a Yoruba proverb:
“If the bullet that was meant to kill a person grazes his head, the person should go and thank God”.
Ibori realized that the case was meant to kill him politically, but he didn’t suspect other “bullets” would follow.
Anthony Alabi and Andrew Oru, plaintiffs in the Ibori ex-convict case, were just pawns. In PDP’s lawyer, J C Obialor’s presence, Alabi confessed; but I’ll save the exact details for my book “The March of Justice; The Whole Truth of The Ibori Ex-Convict Case”.
Aso Rock instigated the ex-convict conspiracy, with a serving Anambra Senator cum Obasanjo’s boy’s direct sponsorship, with the knowledge of a past anti-graft agency chief from Adamawa.
A single-term House of Reps member from Edo state, a lawyer, reviewed the forged documents and okayed them as sufficient for PDP to stop Ibori; but Ogbeh disappointed them by insisting on only a court pronouncement to stop Ibori.
And that pronouncement cleared Ibori.
Kolawole wrote on the ex-convict case: “The then Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Tafa Balogun, finally gave Ibori a clean bill”.
Wrong: IGP Balogun joined the gang-up against Ibori.
Assistant Police Commissioner, Ahmed Fari Yusuf, after investigation, called the Bwari judgment a forgery as Ibori could never have been arraigned as the case wasn’t reported in any Police Station, had no complainant, no Investigating Police Officer etc, but that Shuaibu Anyebe’s case was doctored to appear like Ibori’s.
Then he arrested the lay Judge of that Bwari court for forgery and announced he would unearth his sponsors.
Then someone got Balogun to order that the judge be released and issue a second report, which now held that Ibori was actually convicted; though no new evidence emerged from any new investigation.
Though Ibori’s lawyers subpoenaed Balogun to bring some documents, he totally refused. That explains this statement from Ibori’s lawyer, Paul Milton Ohwovoriole, in court:
“We asked for Police Case File on Case No. CR 81-95. Two: FIR of 81-95. Three: Statement of accused in Case No. 81-95. Four: Copy of Ibori’s petition to the President, copied to the Inspector General of Police. Five: Report of 14th February 2003.
“Where is that report”?
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