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Inside details; How Nigeria offered UK Govt £25m of Ibori funds

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An agreement ‘Memorandum’ between the United Kingdom and Nigerian Government entered BEFORE the commencement of any of the trial of James Ibori and his associates for money laundering in London, whereby the UK Government is to receive £25m of the Ibori funds, was revealed in a London court on Wednesday

The former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State and his former Lawyer Bhadresh Gohil, were back in Southwark Crown Court following an Application by Ibori’s lawyers to force the Crown to submit skeletal arguments and to disclose material.  The hearing was scheduled for 10am.

READ ALSO Ibori: London trial collapses over police corruption

Wsdnesday’s hearing followed the dramatic collapse of a case involving Bhadresh Gohil, a lawyer who represented James Ibori. Gohil was cleared at Southwark crown court two week ago after the CPS withdrew a charge of perverting the course of justice.

Ibori was not in court but he was represented by his legal team. Mr Gohil was in court with his legal team led by Stephen Kamlish.

However, no-one from the Crown turned up. The Judge was very angry and rescheduled to 2pm. Calls were made to Wass QC and the to DPP’s office.

At 2.15 a lawyer (Walsh) from the DPP’s office turned up.  He had no idea about anything. Sian Davis also showed up.  Kamlish and Talbot QC’s both complained bitterly about the CPS’s conduct.  

READ ALSO James Ibori, Lawyer, Back in London Court Today

Then the following came out in court:

·       Wass/Weissman no longer act in any of the cases, they have been sacked;

·       The CPS has no Counsel;

·       There are no police officers from the original case/s;

·       CPS needs to notify all parties as soon as Counsel is identified;

·       There will be no adjournment of Ibori’s May hearing date;

·       The CPS are now in total disarray. They have no idea what to do 

The media were in attendance and saw the fiasco. 

SK QC then dropped the bombshell – He has become aware of an agreement ‘Memorandum’ between the UK and Nigerian Government entered BEFORE the commencement of any of the proceedings, whereby the UK Government is to receive £25m of the Ibori funds.  

Gohil’s team have now requested for this Document.  If there exists such a document (and SK has been reliably informed that it does), it’s a shocking abuse.

“This explains why everyone from the prosecution side has so desperately withheld key material of DFID’s involvement and the corruption”, Elombah.com was told.

A Counsel told journalists, “This case has become a ‘poison chalice’  –  No new respectable Counsel will want to be tainted with the almighty mess. The Judge recognizes that Gohil intends to Appeal and was not in any way obstructive.”

Gohil was jailed in 2012 for seven years for helping to launder money stolen James Ibori, a Nigerian politician, who was also jailed for embezzling and laundering more than £150m from the African state. The conviction was hailed as a triumph for a Scotland Yard anti-corruption unit.

The application made by Stephen Kamlish QC , and Catherine Oborne of Garden Court Chambers, dated 14th January 2016 on behalf of Bhadresh Gohil IN THE CROWN COURT AT SOUTHWARK in the matter of THE CROWN -v- BHADRESH GOHIL detailed ‘ABUSE: CONTINUING SERIOUS PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT’ was also disclosed.

It mentioned further and unequivocal evidence of the fact that the Crown are positively misleading the court and the parties as part of their deliberate cover up of disclosable material.

“This is prosecutorial misconduct of a particularly serious nature”, said a Solicitor.

“The misconduct is ongoing as counsel have deliberately and in bad faith breached the court Order of 11th January by serving almost none of the material ordered to be served five days after the Order was made.  The Crown made what purported to be full disclosure on 11th January and have withheld the remaining material since then. In addition, counsel have redacted material without the authority of the court which is clearly the subject of the court’s Order to disclose.”

READ ALSO James Ibori transferred to a low security prison in UK

current evidence of misconduct also includes cash payments made to DC McDonald.

On 11th January 2016, following the refusals to disclose, the Learned Judge ordered the Crown to disclose the financial material given that it was considered and referred to by DC Palmer who purports to have analysed McDonald’s finances ,and claims to have found no evidence which undermines the Crown’s case;

Contrary to what is stated in the Crown’s two clear disclosure responses, McDonald was in receipt of many unexplained credits/cash credits.  For example:

i. On 23rd January 2007, he received £135; 

ii. On 1st February 2007, he received £550 and £80.04;

iii. On 9th February 2007, he received £300;

iv. On 4th May 2007, he received £900;

v. On 9th May 2007, he received £120 and £300;

vi. On 5th June 2007, he received £1150;

vii. On 4th October 2007, he received £450;

viii. On 11th October 2007, he received £200;

ix. On 12th October 2007, he received £160;

x. On 7th January 2008, he received £200;

xi. On 14th January 2008, he received £250;

xii. On 30th January 2008, he received £460;      

xiii. On 14th May 2008, he received £240;

xiv. On 15th October 2008, he received £100;

xv. On 4th November 2008, he received £440;

xvi. On 7th November 2008, he received £200;

xvii. On 14th November 2008, he received £200;

xviii. On 12th December 2008, he received £350;

xix. On 13th January 2009, he received £300.   

In view of the Crown’s false claims about  one of the central issues in this case, namely DC McDonald’s receipt of cash payments which included a false entry on the MG6C Schedule, which was then repeated by counsel following a review by counsel, and then a reassertion by counsel of the claimed non disclosability followed by a continued refusal to disclose at the Section 8 hearing on the claimed ground of “privacy akin to the privacy of medical records” the court is now being invited to appoint or to order the DPP to appoint leading and junior Special Counsel to review all the disclosure in this case. 


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