Nigerian politician loses bid to appeal British corruption conviction

A leading Nigerian politician, who was jailed in Britain for fraud and money laundering, on Wednesday vowed to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights after losing a bid to challenge his conviction.

James Ibori was jailed in April 2012 for fraud amounting to nearly £50m following a drawn-out extradition procedure and his evasion of arrest and prosecution in Nigeria.

The former Delta state governor, now 59, served four years of a 13-year jail term, which anti-corruption campaigners hailed as a rare victory in the fight against global graft.

Ibori has repeatedly claimed at least one police officer involved in the British investigation against him had been compromised by taking bribes.

London’s Metropolitan Police investigated but no charges were brought.

After appeal court judges in London rejected an application to challenge the conviction, Ibori claimed he was victim of an “international conspiracy” and a “massive cover-up”, in a statement issued by his spokesperson in Nigeria, Tony Eluemunor.

He accused the authorities of failing to disclose the allegations of police corruption at his trial and of a “continued cover-up, which is inimical to justice delivery”.

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