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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

UK Police Officer Ibori Accused of Corruption is Cleared

DC Peter Clarke and DC John McDonald spearheaded the global corruption investigations that put James Ibori in jail

LAGOS JULY 3RD (URHOBOTODAY)-John McDonald, a British police officer with the Proceeds of Crime Unit who was accused of corruption by former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, has been cleared after a lengthy investigation by UK law enforcement authorities. A source involved in the investigation told SaharaReporters, “We found that DC John MacDonald was absolutely innocent of the allegation.”
Mr. McDonald was arrested last year after the British Parliament began investigating an allegation that a private investigation agency made illegal payments to police officers involved in Mr. Ibori’s money laundering case. British law enforcement had initially ignored the allegation, regarding it as a desperate ploy by Mr. Ibori and his defense team to undermine the integrity of the officers who investigated his extensive money laundering scheme.
However, British parliamentarians pressured police authorities to look into the matter.
Mr. Ibori and his jailed lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, had orchestrated a campaign of calumny against the police officers involved in investigating the former governor’s network of corrupt activities around the globe.
Mr. Ibori and Mr. Gohil claimed that some serving officers of the Metropolitan police as well as a few retired officers employed by a private investigation agency took money and sold information regarding Mr. Ibori’s investigations in order to pervert the course of justice.
Backed by powerful lawyers hired by Mr. Ibori, the allegation eventually received the attention of the UK parliament.
A UK-based Nigerian blogger, Daniel Elombah, used the allegation to write a series of propaganda reports believed to have originated from Mr. Ibori’s lawyers in the UK. SaharaReporters learnt that Tony Eluemunor, Mr. Ibori’s spokesman in Nigeria, arranged for Mr. Elombah to meet with the former governor’s lawyers in London.
In his reports, Mr. Elombah went as far as predicting that the criminal case against Mr. Ibori would collapse under the weight of allegations of corruption against his British police investigators. After Mr. Ibori pleaded guilty and was sentenced to jail, the bloggers and media sympathetic to him focused their attacks against the police officers that helped jail him.
A source within the Ibori camp stated that the former governor and Mr. Gohil, his rogue former lawyer, calculated that their convictions would be reversed on appeal if their propaganda succeeded in casting doubt on the integrity of the officers who investigated Mr. Ibori’s slew of money laundering activities. In the end, the appellate Royal Court of Justice declined an appeal to reduce Mr. Ibori’s prison sentence.
A press statement received by Saharareporters from Eddie Townsend of the UK Metropolitan Police revealed that three other persons involved in the investigation are to return to the police in September. It also stated that no further action would be taken against Mr. McDonald.
Source: Saharareporters

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