Wednesday, 3 July 2013

# Africa News # Bhadresh Gohil

Ibori former attorney In Fresh Criminal Probe For Perversion Of Justice


Former Governor James Onanefe Ibori, who is currently serving a 13-year jail sentence in the UK, is in fresh legal trouble as detectives at the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) interrogated him as part of an investigation into Mr. Ibori’s reported attempt to pervert the course of justice.

SaharaReporters confirmed that Mr. Ibori was questioned at the Long Lartin maximum security prison, where he is serving his sentence, to determine his level of involvement in the plot.

The DPS is also questioning Mr. Ibori’s former attorney, Bhadresh Gohil, who is also in jail after his conviction as a facilitator of the former governor’s extensive money laundering activities.

A source said the two men are technically considered to have been arrested under the new charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice before and during Mr. Ibori’s original trial. Our sources said the DPS officers were investigating the former governor’s alleged attempt to bribe police investigators handling his case as well as his reported petition claiming that police investigators had approached him for cash. The latter allegation was published by a few Nigerian blogs.

“We believe that Mr. Ibori and his lawyer may have conspired to pervert the course of justice by offering to make illegal payments to police officers,” said one of our sources. He added: “That scheme has backfired.”

Both Mr. Ibori and Mr. Gohil remain “on bail” until September when the investigations are expected to be concluded in the matter. A woman believed to be Ibori's wife, Theresa, was also likely interrogated but not arrested, a source said. A family source told Saharareporters that Mrs. Ibori had completed her prison term in the UK and had returned to her London home.

Mr. Ibori and his former lawyer, Gohil, are serving different sentences in UK prisons for engaging in widespread money laundering operations. UK and Nigerian authorities estimate that the former governor may have stolen more than $1 billion from oil-rich Delta State. Mr. Gohil was sentenced to a seven-year prison term.

Source: Sahara Reporters
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