- EFCC has named judges allegedly bribed by Dr Joseph Nwobike, SAN
- Nwobike is being tried by the EFCC for allegedly offering gratification to a public official and perverting the course of justice
A detective with the Special Task Force of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Daniel Danladi, on Thursday March 16, at an Ikeja, Lagos state, High Court revealed how judges and judicial officers, allegedly received bribes from Dr Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
Nwobike is being tried by the EFCC before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi for allegedly offering gratification to a public official and perverting the course of justice.
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Sahara Reporters reports that at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Danladi, led in evidence by the EFCC lead counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, displayed a document entitled: “Extraction Report,” on the screen in the courtroom.
In his testimony, Danladi named four judges who were allegedly involved in the gratification scam as Justice Mohammed Yinusa, Justice H. A. Ngajiwa and Justice Musa Kurya, all of the Federal High Court, Lagos and Justice James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court, Lagos.
He said the report contained details of 14,317 text messages from Nwobike’s Samsung Galaxy Note 4 mobile phone, seized from him by the anti-graft agency during investigations in the alleged corruption case.
According to him, some of the text messages in the report contained details of bank transactions as well as messages allegedly sent by Nwobike to the judicial officers and judges.
Danladi said: “The result of the extraction report clearly showed that the defendant was conveying money to judges of the various courts. He also wielded influence over which judge should hear his cases.
“This is contrary to the statement that the defendant gave to the EFCC that the only judicial officer he gave financial assistance to was Hon. Justice Yinusa.”
Danladi further gave details of judicial officers who Nwobike was allegedly in contact with.
He said: “The defendant was in regular phone contact with one Jide and Baruwa of the Federal High Court and one Helen Ogunleye, who is the registrar to Justice Musa Kurya.”
“On November 5, 2015, the defendant sent a text message to Jide stating he wanted his matter which was Timi Akpobolokemi and others Vs the EFCC with suit number FHC/L/CS/1665/2015 to go before Hon. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
“He acknowledged receipt of the text message and some days later the matter was assigned to Ofili-Ajumogobia.
He said: “We invited Justice James Agbadu-Fishim to our office sometime in late 2016; he made statements confirming that the defendant paid money into his account.”
Danladi told the court that Jide was also invited by the Commission where he admitted exchanging text messages with the SAN.
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Earlier during the trial, counsel to Nwobike, O. Akanni (SAN), opposed Danladi’s evidence.
Akanni said: “This evidence does not have any relevance to this case.
“The test of admissibility is relevance, and there is not a single charge before this court that relates to the payment of money to judges.
“The charged relate to payment of money to specific individuals and Section 1 of the Evidence Act is very clear.
“It states that evidence has to be relevant to the fact in issue.”