Cablegate: "Interpol" Interviews Nigeria's Chief Justice

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Chief Justice of Nigeria Mohammed Lawal Uwais met
with a team of local and international law enforcement
officers April 19 over a bribery scandal variously reported
at 250 million Naira or 5 billion Naira. Press reports named
Ogbonna Onova, Deputy Inspector General of Police (CID), as
the lead investigator for INTERPOL of an allegation that some
Justices from the Supreme Court collected the payments to
give a favorable judgement for Governor James Ibori of Delta
State in an election tribunal. The suit against Ibori's 2003
election centers on Ibori not being eligible to run for
election because of a previous conviction for fraud, and the
bribe was allegedly for judges to allow submissions that the
convicted Ibori was some other fellow named Ibori.

2. (C) Supreme Court Registrar Danlami Senchi confirmed to
Emboff that Chief Justice Uwais has given approval to the
investigators to question other justices and staff of the
Supreme Court. In February, 2004, a group calling itself the
"Derivation Front" distributed a document to media houses
alleging that Ibori had bribed some Justices to get a
favorable judgement. Four days after the allegation, the
Supreme Court delivered a judgement ruling that one James
Onanefe Ibori had been convicted in the Bwari Area Court in
1995, but sending the case back to the originating court to
determine whether the Ibori of the Bwari case is actually
Delta Governor Ibori. Post has been unable to ascertain what
the INTERPOL angle is -- Governor Ibori, the Justices, and
the election are all Nigerian.

3. (C) BACKGROUND: Ibori's real battle is with political
chieftains from his own party, the ruling PDP, and stems from
his ties to VP Atiku and PDP Governor Ngige of Anambra. Two
PDP members, Owolomo Agbi and Anthony Alabi, challenged
Ibori's eligibility to hold office due to his previous court
conviction. Under Nigeria's Constitution, persons convicted
of any among a wide range of crimes are barred from holding
public office. Fraud qualifies.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>

Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>

Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>

UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>