Commission refers the conviction of Adekunle Akanbi-Akinlade to the Court of Appeal

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of Adekunle Akanbi-Akinlade to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Akanbi-Akinlade was convicted on 2nd May 2007 at Isleworth Crown Court of being knowingly concerned in a fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of goods contrary to Section 170(2)(b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. He was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.

He was refused leave to appeal in 2007. He applied to the Commission for a review of his conviction in 2010.

Mr Akanbi-Akinlade was stopped at London Heathrow Airport as he returned on a flight from Nigeria. The handles of his suitcases were found to contain 1.099kg of 100% pure cocaine with a street value of £174,000.

Having investigated the case, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Akanbi-Akinlade’s conviction because new evidence undermining the credibility of a key prosecution witness gives rise to the real possibility that they Court of Appeal will quash the conviction.

Mr Akanbi-Akinlade is represented by Corenna Platt at Stephensons Solicitors,
10 – 14 Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NN.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 633 1806.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and in the Court Martial and Service Civilian Court. The Commission is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
  1. There are nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
  1. The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Our current rates of referral are around 4%, which means around one in 25 of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.

4. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.

5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.