- Category: Wikileaks on Nigeria
- Published on Saturday, 05 February 2011 10:21
- Written by Admin
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THE anti-corruption claims of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua were nothing but a ruse, global whistle blowers, Wikileaks alleged yesterday.
In yet another release from its arsenal of what it claimed were classified United States documents, the organisation said that the administration of the late President actually blocked legal processes to prosecute former Delta State Governor, James Onanefe Ibori over alleged corruption.
Ibori is being accused of stealing more than £196 million of state funds and channelling ‘dirty money’ to Britain
The Wikileaks report said that Britain was keen to secure an agreement allowing the transfer of more than 400 prisoners back to Nigeria. There are currently more than 1,000 Nigerian inmates in British jails – costing the UK taxpayer around £40 million a year.
But talks over the agreement stalled after Britain refused to drop charges aganst Ibori, it further claimed.
A diplomatic cable from the US embassy in London claims that the then Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa attempted to blackmail British officials into abandoning the corruption case against Ibori.
The cable sent to Washington in May 2009 states: “Nigerian Attorney General (AG) Michael Aondoakaa has directly told the UK the (Government of Nigeria) will not begin negotiations on the PTA unless the UK drops its case against former Delta State Governor James Ibori and his associates”.
Two months later, Lin Homer, chief executive of the UK Border Agency, disclosed to the Home Affairs select committee that Britain had offered to build a state-of-the-art new prison in Nigeria in return for the transfer of at least 400 Nigerian inmates. The offer was rejected.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought 170 corruption charges against Ibori in December 2007, but a court in Asaba, Delta State cleared him in 2009, saying that there was no clear evidence on which to convict.
Southwark Crown Court froze UK assets of £17 million allegedly belonging to Ibori after the EFCC passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.