Judge Anthony Pitts of the Southwark Crown Court, UK, yesterday, adjourned the confiscation hearing of Chief James Ibori, former Delta State Governor, till June 6 next year.
Judge Pitts granted the adjournment to allow him time attend to a case of attempt to pervert the course of justice brought against Ibori’s co-defendant, Mr. Bradresh Gohil.
Gohil’s counsel alleged in court, at the hearing yesterday, that a British Police Officer, Mcdonald, who is a lead investigating officer in the case involving Gohil and Ibori, had been involved in collecting money for information involving Gohil and Risk Management company.
While pressing home his demand, Gohil’s counsel said: “There are new evidence indicating that DC Macdonald exchanged 22 telephone calls, which have been traced with Risk Management at key stages of the investigation of Ibori.
“They coincided with unexplained payment into DC Macdonald’s account.”
Judge Pitts, while granting the request of Gohil’s counsel in the trial, said: “Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to have been done.”
This is a second abrupt ending in the Ibori confiscation case.
The first ended last year, after it abruptly ended James Ibori’s confiscation hearing late last year on the grounds that the judge lacked enough evidence to arrive at a decision in the confiscation hearing.
Asking that the case be adjourned again on two grounds, Mr. Gohil’s counsel, Kamlish, a Queen’s Counsel, said: “Your Honour, I seek to have this case adjourned on two grounds:
“Gohil is not being represented at the hearing as the former counsel and solicitor have withdrawn and the second ground being that it will be improper to have a confiscation hearing before Mr. Gohil’s trial.”
The judge, in accepting his request, adjourned Mr. Gohil’s trial till January 16, 2016.
This adjournment of Gohil’s trial affected Ibori’s confiscation hearing as the prosecution sought an application to join Ibori’s and Gohil’s cases together.
Ibori’s case should have lasted for just six weeks, but will now be linked to Gohil’s case, which will begin January next year.