Ibori Denies Receiving EFCC Invitation

Vows To Challenge EFCC’s Political Persecution”.

Chief James Ibori Onanefe Ibori has decried the Gestapo tactics being employed on his matter by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and calls this a “political harassment that demands for vigourous legal challenge so that Nigeria is not ruled like a fiefdom  – and that is what I will give”.

In a press statement signed by his Media Assistant, Mr. Tony Eluemunor,  Ibori calls the claim in the EFCC that “letters of invitation have been sent to his known addresses in Lagos and Abuja while a court warrant has equally been obtained for his arrest”, is a wicked lie as no such letter was ever received.

Ibori asks his supporters not to panic because up till today Tuesday 13th April 2010, no letter inviting him for questioning from either the EFCC or any other security agency, has been received” in any of his houses both in Abuja or Lagos.  EFCC knows this to be the truth that is why it did not mention the dates of those alleged invitations  – because no such letters of invitation were ever sent to him. 

Instead, it is on record that Ibori’s counsel, Mr. J. B. Dauda (SAN) wrote a petition to both the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chairman of EFCC, dated Monday 12th April, 2010, (and this was reported in some national and internet publications of 13th April 2010) over the unsubstantiated media reports of the past two weeks that Ibori had been on the run from the EFCC. Also, it is on record that Ibori has instituted a suit against the EFCC over this same issue.

Ibori’s statement said that surprisingly, immediately after EFCC received Ibori’s petition and also learnt that Ibori had filed a suit against the agency in court, it applied its Gestapo tactics and rushed to the news media with the malicious falsehood that the agency had invited Ibori for questioning.

Ibori maintains that EFCC’s action is just political and not criminal, and it shows that the arm-twisting that defaced the final years of the last administration has been allowed back into Nigeria as the country enters an election year. Ibori’s lawyer made this clear in the petition to both the Attorney-General and the EFCC  that this matter had been thoroughly investigated  in the past and the case rested. According to the petition: “It is a matter of public record and judicial decisions that you have on behalf of the Attorney-General vigourously investigated every aspect of our client’s tenure as Governor of Delta State and failed to find any crime committed inclusive of allegations of conspiracy, official corruption, diversion and misappropriation of public funds, stealing and money laundering for the period 29th May, 1999 to 29th May, 2007. The said investigation covered among other issues the purchase of Wilbros by Ascot and the role of the

Applicant in respect thereof.

“It is also a matter of record that the head of the investigators, YAHAHA BELLO, and contained in his counter affidavit filed in Suit No. FHC/B/CS/862/2007 AG Delta v. EFCC& Ords, admitted that all these facts have been investigated and the matter charged to court. In very simple elementary terms what your Organisation is doing is seeking to reinvestigate a matter you have already investigated and discharged (which in this instance amounts to an acquittal) amounts to not only a complete infraction of the Nigerian Constitution but as a breach of our client’s fundamental human rights. Nowhere in world except in except of course in some notorious Banana Republics is the rule of law and the constitutionalism trampled upon so aggressively as you are doing in this instance.

“It is neither fair nor decent to criminalize our client on the pages of the newspapers without any formal invitation to clear his name, which the courts have already done for him”.

“Take notice therefore that if there is any attempt to interfere with our client’s liberty merely because you control the coercive forces we shall have no option but to have recourse to judicial redress before the courts which is the last hope for the defenceless man such as our client”.

Signed: Tony Eluemunor.

Media Assistant to Chief Ibori.