SAN Nwobike Earns One Month Jail Term Over Justice Perversion

LAGOS High Court Sitting in the Ikeja area has convicted a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Joseph Nwobike on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi, who delivered the verdict today also sentenced the Snr Advocate to a jail term of one month.

The court held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission proved beyond reasonable doubts that the SAN was in constant communication with some court officials to influence the assignment of his cases to preferred judges.

The EFCC had alleged that Nwobike offered N750,000 and N300,000 gratifications to Justices Mohammed Yunusa and Hyeladzira Nganjiwa. Both are Federal High Court judges.

The EFCC claimed that Nwobike offered them the money to pervert the course of justice. The SAN denied these charges.

The court also did not find him guilty on any offence of offering gratification to a judicial officer.

The EFCC had also detailed in court an exchange of text messages between a deputy registrar of the Federal High Court and Mr Nwobike. The commission alleges that the SAN used the msgs to influence the assignment of his cases before certain judges of the court.

In its amended charges, the Commission specifically listed Mrs Helen Ogunleye, a former registrar to Justice Musa Kurya and another Mr Jide, an assistant Chief Registar as persons whom the Snr Advocate regularly communicated with.

At his trial, Mr Nwobike admitted sending the messages but denied that the intention was to influence the outcome of his cases.