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Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla

Nigerian judge to be tried for collecting N90 million bribe from lawyers

One of the judges recently recalled from suspension by the National Judicial Council will be charged this week with offences bordering on receiving gratification from lawyers, the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, has said.

 

Obono-Obla as reported by The Punch on Sunday alleged that the judge was found to have received gratification worth N90m from 100 lawyers.

 

The presidential aide alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would likely file charges against the judge and the lawyers by Tuesday (tomorrow).

 

The judge, whose name was not disclosed, will be the second among the recalled judges, to be charged after the NJC lifted their about-eight-month suspension.

 

The EFCC had shortly after the NJC announced the recall of the six judges in a June 1, 2017 statement, charged Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa with 14 counts of unlawful enrichment to the tune of $260,000 and N8,650,000.

 

Obono-Obla said the NJC deliberately cleared the judge  (whose name was not disclosed) to resume work despite cases of receiving gratification from lawyers pending against the judicial officer.

 

The presidential aide said, “The judge will be charged. He was deliberately cleared by the NJC.  But now, we have established a case of receiving gratification from 100 lawyers against him.

 

“The EFCC will file the charges against the judge and the lawyers by Monday or Tuesday.”

 

He said apart from charging the lawyers alongside the judge, “We are also going to bring disciplinary proceedings against those lawyers.”

 

The NJC had in a statement on June 1, 2017, lifted the suspension of six out of the eight judges barred from performing their  judicial functions since October 2016 pending the determination of the corruption cases against them.

 

According to the statement, the affected judges asked to resume their judicial functions included, Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court; Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal; and Justice Hydiazira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court.

 

Others were Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court (who was prosecuted but discharged and acquitted), Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court; and Justice Agbadu James Fishim of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.