Ibori :Group Hails UK Judiciary, Seeks Uduaghan’s Resignation

Members of a group, Liberate – Delta Peoples Movement, representing over 15,000 citizens of Delta State across the world; have today selected out the UK Judiciary for special thanks, following the extradition, trial, guilty plea and sentencing of the former Governor of the State, James Onanefe Ibori to 13 years in prison for embezzling the State’s funds and laundering it in the United kingdom.  The sentencing was reported live on the group’s facebook page, followed by thousands of Deltans across the world.  There was an explosion of emotions on the Breaking News that the judge had pronounced a 13 years sentence, achieving what the Nigerian Judiciary had failed woefully to achieve.
Liberate  said in today’s statement that it has written to the UK Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police and the Department for International Development for their commitment to tackling corruption in Nigeria and ensuring that the UK was no longer a safe haven for corrupt leaders who neglect their duty to create opportunities for the people and instead, extract as much money as they can for themselves, their families and friends.  They have also expressed grave disappointment with the Nigerian Judiciary and the broader Nigerian government for their failure to bring Ibori to justice after so many years of looting the State treasury and setting the State on a path of prolonged decline.  The group’s spokesman, Mr Cadre Drake said that:
“Ibori’s crimes were not a simple case of theft, they were crimes against the people of Delta State who have been robbed of their chance to build much needed infrastructure, and develop employment for the youths.  His victims are numerous.  However, Ibori did not act alone, he was aided by others who are known to the authorities; they must now be brought to justice too”.
The Group  thus called for the following:
1.      The Delta State House of Assembly should hold an emergency session to discuss the implications of the sentence for the State, in particular, the failure of Uduaghan to carry-out an audit of the States accounts so that the fraud Ibori pleaded guilty to can be identified.
2.      Failing that they should all consider their positions and resign with immediate effect
3.      Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, cousin and protégé of Ibori should resign as governor of Delta State with immediate effect for his complicity in the looting of Delta State funds and his failure to carry out an audit of the State’s finances.
4.      Amos Utuama, Deputy Governor of Delta State should resign with immediate effect for aiding and abetting Ibori in the looting of Delta State Treasury
  1. Justice Marcel Awokulehin, Federal High Court Asaba should resign with immediate effect for failure to act in accordance with the rule of law and in the interest of justice, acquitting Ibori of 170 counts of corruption charges thereby bringing the Nigerian Judiciary and the nation into disrepute
  2. John Fashanu should be dismissed by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, as a Sports Ambassador for Nigeria for bringing Nigerian Sport and our nation into disrepute, acting as a character witness for Ibori and peddling blatant lies about how Ibori had revolutionised sports in Delta State.
  3. That James Onanefe Ibori having been convicted of a fraud in the United Kingdom prior to becoming a Governor had obtained that position fraudulently and should be stricken off the public records.  The constitution of Nigeria states clearly in section 182. (1) (d) that an individual cannot stand as governor if “he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or any other offence imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal”  As it has been clarified by the UK courts that Ibori was indeed a convict, the President of Nigeria, the National House of Assembly and the Delta State House of Assembly must work from the same hymn sheet in ensuring the Ibori’s name is stricken from the public records such that he was never a Governor; and that all benefits to which he is entitled as an Ex-governor be stopped with effect from the date he pleaded guilty.  If possible, that he should be asked to refund all salaries earned during his period of Governorship.

It added that Deltans do not have any faith or confidence in the current Governor, Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan given his apparent involvement in the Ibori criminal enterprise and his ongoing inability to introduce good governance, transparency and accountability to the State.  IN this regard, Liberate – Delta People’s Movement have committed to fight the repatriation of confiscated proceeds of Ibori’s crimes back to the Delta State Treasury.  Liberate will be writing to the UK authorities to make representations that the funds be held in Trust until such a time as a Governor, duly elected by the people and enjoying their trust and confidence is in place.

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