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SANs divided over FG’s moves to extradite, re-try James Ibori

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Senior legal practitioners in the court, Thursday, expressed divergent views over moves by the Federal Government to extradite and re-open criminal case against convicted former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori.

Whereas some of them insisted that such action would amount to “double jeopardy”, others disagreed, saying he was convicted under a foreign law.

Among those that urged FG to shelve the idea included a constitutional lawyer and human rights activists, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN.

He said: “The federal government cannot, should not and must not extradite, re-arrest and prosecute Ibori again, if the extradition, fresh arrest and prosecution are based on the same facts,events and circumstances as those under which he was earlier convicted in the UK and for which he has served his prison sentence.

Ibori after his release from prison in the United Kingdom.

“In law, that will amount to ‘double jeopardy’ which is not only antithetical to decency and our criminal justice system, but also tantamount to a blatant violation of section 36(9) of the 1999 Constitution which unambiguously provides that “no person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or Tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for a criminal offence having the ingredients as that offence save upon the order of a superior court”.


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