LONDON â€”Â THE Urhobo Consultative Forum (UCF), UK branch, has appealed that former Governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori be given a fair hearing, saying no one is guilty until proven so.
This position was contained in a statement signed by Co-ordinator and spokesman of the group, Mr. Robert Oganganoghene Odiete, and made available to Vanguard. It stated that anti-Ibori groups have already pronounced a guilty verdict on the former governor even before the court have heard his case.
According to them, â€œa man is innocent until proven otherwise; this is a funda-mental principle of justice. We are very concerned that this very important principle is not being respected or followed in the current case of James Ibori, where some interested parties have already pronounced him, and those allegedly associated with him in this case, guilty and are now calling for his blood.â€
The group furher said â€œwe were appalled by the way some members of the anti-Ibori lobby comported themselves at the hearing involving his alleged associates, at Southwark Crown court in South London, on the 9th of October 2009″.
Alluding to the infallibility and imperfectness of human beings and politicians, the group said â€œthough the former governor could have done more for Delta State, like many other politicians in Nigeria and the world over, there was no way he could have satisfied everyoneâ€.
They noted that even in developed countries, people still complain about their leaders not doing enough for them. It is impossible for any leader to satisfy all the people all the time.
Some are bound to praise him while others are bound to criticize him; that is human nature. It added â€œloyalty is not only about winning.â€
The United Kingdom UCF also use the opportunity to remind Niger Deltans and Deltans in particular, that Chief James Ibori was one of the big brains behind resource control and the increase of resources to the region.
And therefore appeal to everyone to allow the courts to carry out their duties without interference.Â Noting that the verdict of the court would be respected whatever it is.