A senior Nigerian lawyer, Joseph Nwobike, has been convicted on several counts of attempting to pervert justice.
Mr Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was convicted by the Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court on Monday.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi, however, found the lawyer not guilty on offences of offering gratification to a judicial officer and making false declaration to an officer of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr Nwobike is being prosecuted by the EFCC.
The prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the judge to visit the full weight of the law – a two year prison term – on the convict to serve as a deterrent to other lawyers.
The judge said she would adjourn proceedings for some minutes to enable her write the sentence.
Details of the sentence would be provided later.
The EFCC had on March 9, 2016 arraigned Mr. Nwobike before Justice Adebiyi on a five-count charge of allegedly offering gratification and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The lawyer faced criminal prosecution for allegedly bribing Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court judge to refrain from exercising the duties of his office.
The defendant admitted in his statement to the EFCC that he gave N750,000 to Justice Yunusa to assist the Judge in the treatment of his ailing mother who allegedly suffered from kidney disease.
One of the counts reads: “You Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN) on the 28th day of March 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, intentionally gave the sum of N750,000 to Honourable Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court directly through your United Bank for Africa Account No. 1002664061 in order that the said Judge refrains from acting in the exercise of his official duties and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 64 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011”.
Mr. Nwobike pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him, hence the trial which judgment was given today.
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