Ibori begins appeal against UK conviction

A former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who spent years in UK prison after pleading guilty to money laundering in Britain, has launched an appeal against his conviction, alleging corruption within the ranks of the British police.

According to Ibori’s lawyers, one of the British police officers who investigated him took bribes in 2007 from a private detective hired by a law firm working for Ibori, in return for inside information about the police investigation.

They also alleged that British anti-corruption detective, who were supposed to investigate the alleged bribery, instead covered it up to avoid weakening Ibori’s trial and tarnishing the reputation of the police.

The appeal hearing currently being held before three judges at London’s Court of Appeal, is due to last three days.

Ibori was due to give evidence on Wednesday via video-link from Nigeria, and he appeared briefly on a screen in court, but the connection was lost and could not be restored. The court was told a power cut in Nigeria was the reason for the glitch.

The judges instructed that a new attempt be made to establish a video-link to Ibori on Thursday.

About $130 million of Ibori’s assets are believed to be at stake, which have been frozen for years.

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