Save Nigeria Group: Ibori’s Conviction, A Wake Up Call To Judiciary

Yinka Odumakin

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) on Tuesday blamed James Ibori’s escape from justice in Nigeria on the nation’s judiciary.
Similarly, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) says corruption had continued to thrive in Nigeria because the nation’s criminal justice system seemed to give corrupt leaders a pat on the back.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former Delta State Governor was on Tuesday jailed 13 years by a British Court for Corruption and Money Laundering.
Reacting to the development, the SNG Spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, lamented that the same Ibori, who was given a clean bill on corruption by a Nigerian court, has been convicted for similar offences abroad.
“We cannot continue to run a country where the rich get away with crimes against humanity.
“This is an opportunity for the judiciary to re-check itself and mend its broken walls,” Odumakin said.
In his reaction, the Lagos State Chairman of the CLO, Mr. Ehi Omokhuale, told NAN that “Iboris’s conviction is a big slap on Nigeria’s image and its justice system.
“There are so many Ibori’s running free in Nigeria and their freedom is a threat to our democracy.
“For the crime of impoverishing his people, Ibori deserved a life sentence or death, rather than a mere 13 years,” the CLO Chairman said.
Also speaking, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the National Co-ordinator of CACOL, noted that “this is a bitter lesson for Nigeria’s criminal justice system that it has allowed itself to be manipulated by corrupt leaders.
“It is painful that none of those convicted for corruption has gotten over five years imprisonment.
“Corruption is a crime against humanity. Ibori’s conviction should act as a deterrent to leaders who think they have a safe haven abroad,” Adeniran said.
He said that CACOL was very pleased with Ibori’s sentence as it has given enough impetus for Nigeria to intensify the fight to bring corrupt persons to justice.

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