IBORI ASSOCIATES’ TRIAL IN SOUTHWARK CROWN COURT, LONDON: DAY 12.
24th NOVEMBER 2009
The Court was due to resume sitting on November 24th 2009 but met for case management on Monday 23rd November 2009 during which it was presented with an email from Mr Dawodu (a jnr counsel) from the Asaba Federal High Court where Ibori’s application for the dismissal of the 170 count charge of theft against him is being held. Mr Dawodu informed the London court that the ruling that was expected to have been delivered by Justice Marcel Awokulehin on November 23rd had been deferred until December 4th 2009. The reasons given were that Justice Awokulehin is away at a Judges conference and because of Ramadan.
Defence counsels for the three Ibori’s associates (Christine Ibori-Ibie, Ibori’s sister; Adebimpe Pogoson, his secretary; and Udoamaka Onuigbo-Okoronkwo, his mistress) then argued that the London case be adjourned to also take into account the coming Christmas break. They submitted that if the case in London were to go to full trial now, its proceedings would still have to be stayed to accommodate the Christmas holidays.
The Judge agreed and the case was subsequently adjourned until the 16th of February 2010.
The Judge however stated that irrespective of what obtained in the Ibori Asaba case, the London case would proceed.
Meanwhile, the Prosecution filed an application of “Bad Character” in the case as it said it has become aware that Ibori have previous undeclared convictions for theft in London in 1991 and 1992.
* Correction: I had erroneously reported that there was unconfirmed report that Judge Hardy was due to retire from the Bench in December 2009. This is not the case. The upcoming retirement is actually that of Justice Marcel Awokulehin of the Asaba Federal High court. The error is regretted.