Posted by By Ise-Oluwa Ige on
THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Tafa Balogun, has declared that former judge of the Upper Area Court, Bwari, Justice Awwal Yusuf, convicted one James Onanefe Ibori on September 28, 1995 on a two-count charge of negligent conduct and criminal breach of trust.
ABUJA— THE Inspector-General of Police, Mr Tafa Balogun, has declared that former judge of the Upper Area Court, Bwari, Justice Awwal Yusuf, convicted one James Onanefe Ibori on September 28, 1995 on a two-count charge of negligent conduct and criminal breach of trust. His position, which was contained in a final police report made available to newsmen yesterday came on a day Delta State government dismissed the entire report as a midnight document.
But the police report refrained from saying that the James Onanefe Ibori that was convicted nine years ago at the Abuja court is the present Governor of Delta State. It also did not say that the controversial Ibori was the one convicted in charge number CR\81\95.
The Delta State government in a recation said: "The purported final report by the police dated June 7, 2003 bears the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Tafa Balogun’s signature with his national award of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR).
"Discerning Nigerians would remember that as at June 7, 2003 when the Inspector-General of Police purportedly signed the final report, no such award had been conferred on him. This shows that the so-called final report is an after-thought, written after the award conferment."
Added the statement: "This is an unacceptable somersault. If at all a so called final report was written, it must have come into existence in the past few days with the intention to contradict the first (interim) which clearly exonerated Governor Ibori. The turn of events orchestrated by the police in the judicial efforts to unravel the mystery surrounding the allegation can only be seen as part of a mischievous political agenda against the governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori.
"More worrisome is that the police are by their actions not only obstructing the course of justice but are actually launching a vicious attack on the very constitution from which they derive their powers.
The Nigeria police had issued an interim report on the investigation February 14, last year, dismissing an allegation that one James Onanefe Ibori was convicted by the Area court, Abuja.
But about five months after, the police came up with another report, saying there were emerging facts.
The new report dated June 7, 2003 entitled: "Police Final Investigation Report on Alleged Case of Forgery and Falsification of Court Records in Case No CR\81\95 COP Vs James Onanefe Ibori, addressed to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Balogun, however, said: "The issue as to whether one James Onanefe Ibori was charged and convicted by the Upper Area Court, Bwari could not be controverted."
According to the Inspector-General of Police in the report, it cannot be controverted that one James Onanefe Ibori was convicted, saying his position is so "especially as the then Upper Area Court Judge, Bwari, Alhaji Awwal Yusuf consistently maintained that he tried and convicted one James Onanefe Ibori. "It would be very difficult for any investigation to controvert the direct evidence of Alhaji Awwal Yusuf, the Upper Area Court judge that it was James Onanefe Ibori that he tried and convicted. However, the fact that the DCO (of the Bwari Police station), ASP Dauda and the court orderly, a police corporal, Haruna Damaye are all dead has not helped the investigation," he said.
The two deceased police officers were fingered as the brains behind the confusion over removal from the file the First Information Report (FIR) on which the name of one James Onanefe Ibori was charged, tried and convicted.