Another Nigerian judge reinstated by NJC docked for alleged corruption

NJC Building
NJC Building

Justice James Agbadu-fishim of the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, was on Tuesday hauled up before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of an Ikeja High Court over alleged N4.4 million gratification.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Mr. Agbadu-fishim for allegedly receiving N4.4million from seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, a lawyer and a law firm from 2013 to 2015.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the seven SANs accused of unlawfully enriching the judge are — Felix Fagbohungbe, Paul Usoro, Uche Obi, Muiz Banire, Adeniyi Akintola Gani Kazeem and Joseph Nwobike.

The prosecution alleged in the 19-count charge of unlawful enrichment that the judge received funds from a Lagos-based lawyer, Enobong Etteh and Alliance Law Firm.

According to the EFCC, Felix Fagbohungbe deposited N200,000 on December 5, 2013; N700,000 between May 10 and December 19, 2014; N250,000 on February 26, 2015; and N250,000 also on February 26, 205 into the First Bank Account with no. 3008199491 belonging to Mr. Agbadu-fishim.

The anti-graft agency alleges that Paul Usoro between August 5 and December 12, 2015 deposited N300,000; between March 25 and March 26, deposited N400,000 and N100,000 into the First Bank Account of the judge with no. 3008199491.

The law firm of Gani Kazeem paid N100,000 on February 10, 2015 and Uche Obi between October 17 and 20, 2013 paid N200,000; Alliance Law Firm deposited N250,000 into the First Bank Account of the judge with number- 3008199491.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Enobong Etteh, paid N200,000 on two occasions into the First Bank account of the judge with number – 3008199491 on October 27, 2014.

The EFCC told the court that Adeniyi Akintola deposited N200,000 on July 12, 2014, N100,000 on February 10, 2014, N100,000 on February 26, 2015 and also N100,000 on February 26, 2015 into the First Bank Account of the judge with number – 2006900216.

The EFCC claimed that Mr, Agbadu-fishim received N150,000 on December 12, 2014 and N100,000 on September 10, 2015 from Joseph Nwobike into his First Bank Account with number – 2006900216.

Mr. Agbadu-fishim, however, denied the 19-count charge.

After the judge’s plea was taken, Rotimi Oyedepo, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, requested for a trial date.

A. Amuda, counsel to Agbadu-fishim, asked the court to grant the judge bail.

“I will ask My Lord for your leave to apply for the bail of the defendant.

“Pursuant to the case of Abiola VFRB, we are saying this with all sense of respect the defendant being a judge of the National Industrial Court was just served yesterday at 5 p.m. with this charge.

“It was at this time that he got the charge that I couldn’t get a flight to Lagos from Port – Harcourt and I had to travel overnight to Lagos to represent my client.

“I pray that the court grants bail to the defendant on self-recognisance; he is a judge of the National Industrial Court and he has started sitting.

“My Lord we plead that your Lordship grants the defendant bail.”

Responding, Mr. Oyedepo told the court that he would not be opposing the bail of the judge.

“I leave the issue of bail to the discretion of your Lordship, I ask that your Lordship secure the bail terms that will ensure the attendance in court of the defendant,” he said.

In her ruling, Justice Raliatu Adebiyi said: “In Abacha V State, the main function of the nail is to ensure the attendance of the defendant.

“In considering bail, the court must consider the nature of the offence charged.

“No facts have been placed before the court to indicate that the defendant will skip bail.

“The court hereby grants the defendant bail on self-recognisance. He is to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of the court,” she said.

Justice Raliatu Adebiyi adjourned the case until October 11, 12 and 13 for trial.

NAN recalls that the National Judicial Council, NJC, had on June 2 recalled Agbadu-fishim and five other judges from suspension.

A total of eight judges were suspended in November 2016 following a raid on their homes by the State Security Service, DSS.

They include Mr. Agbadu-fishim of the NIC; John Okoro of the Supreme Court; Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court; Uwani Aji of the Court of Appeal; and Hydiazira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court.

Others are Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court and Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court.

All the judges except Messrs. Ngwuta and Ofili-Ajumogobia who are both currently facing corruption trial were recalled by the NJC.

The NJC had said that the reason for their recall was the huge backlog of cases in their courts.

The judicial body noted that only Messrs. Ademola, Ngwuta and Ofili-Ajumogobia had been charged to court, emphasising that Mr. Ademola had been discharged and acquitted of the charges filed against him.

(NAN)


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  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    The demystification of Nigeria’s corrupt Judges is the major highlight of certificate forger and perjurer Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. It is high time these corrupt Judges were made to face firing squads because of the gravity of their offences as judicial officers.

    • Spyman29

      Even in your foolishness you still can acknowledge his good works

      • Frank Bassey

        What is “good” in his works? This is after-thought. Watch out, it will fail like the others.

        • Spyman29

          If it fails it is your own headache not PMB’s

          • Frank Bassey

            How can it be his headache when he is not in charge?

    • abodes_124

      There are lots of people to be shot in Nigeria on suspicion of various offences. You, sir,maybe one if not already then at some point in the near future if current trends continue.

      • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

        On what, do you buffoon, predicate your senseless postulation?

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    Judge the judged

    • Lexis Juris

      @abdulmojeednojeemdeen:disqus

      Better to dissolve all Judges
      of courts and select another; than perdure in delusion that a bribe-exchange
      system; mistaken as court in Nigeria, is the last hope of the common man.
      Nigerians themselves are mostly illiterate, crass, smelly, roguish, corrupt
      thieves, and cretinoid in thoughts, and therefore, can hardly know what a
      failed state means, and that means they can’t know how close Nigeria is to a
      failed state even now, as the din from the outside world deafens; that no
      country in the world is willing to save Nigeria from its sealed fate as a
      country condemned.

      There’s no court in Nigeria where honesty or truth reigns as the Judges
      of Nigeria’s courts almost wholly stink of lies and bribes, besides being
      ignoramuses in legal analyses of factual disputes. No foreign court in the
      world cites any court decision issued by a Nigerian court as persuasive.
      Nigeria’s court judgments are too ignorant for mention. But why then call a
      building a court of law if the Judges there are biddable and bribed? And if
      there’s no slender chance of truthful declaration of facts therefrom?

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        You have spoken nothing but the entire truth. Anarchy looms when the judiciary fails in its responsibility. No wonder why we have jungle justice everywhere. A just dictator is better than the entire corrupt judicial system. There is no common man any longer,all we have is the oppressed slaves. Instead of the Nigerians to rise and support our enemy’s enemy, we are busy making more oppressors for ourselves. Buhari might be our friend,yet he is our enemy’s enemy. For the first time in the history of this country,no one has ever dreaded this dear devil devil,dear criminals called the Nigerian judges,but buhari has deemed it fit,to challenge the untouchability of these evils in robe. We have to start somewhere, for us get somewhere.

  • Frank Bassey

    After-thought. Dead on arrival.

  • Dazmillion

    I dont know why we find it hard to admit with all honesty that Nigeria is a failed state. How can a society where the law has fallen in its streets still be considered a sane society. Yet we see this all the time in Nigeria yet pretend all is well. It is only the people gaining from the oil money that are keeping up this illusion that Nigeria is still viable country

  • atakamosu

    The EFCC should stop this nonsense. Why continue to smear the Judiciary rather than bring erring judges to book. The charge should have been for tax evasion if a person collects gifts and did not declare it. You prosecute, these are airtight and you seek forfeiture and a fine. So if one collected $10, once found guilty they pay the $10 to the government plus a $2 fine. That is a better deterrent than dragging the judiciary in the mud. Obviously Magu is not sophisticated enough to know that proving bribery for such small amounts is a waste of tax payers money. Learn from the USA, where Tax evasion punitively and RICo laws to jail erring public servants. Stop wasting tax payer funds when there are profitable ways to deter corruption.

    • Yemi

      Your comments are idiotic. I can only assume you are one of these lightweight lawyers or judicial members. Dragging the judiciary through the mud my ass. The Nigerian judiciary has done that to itself!