EFCC’s Change Of Counsel Stalls Trial Of Judge Accused Of Corruption
Posted: 21/Feb/2018

THE proposed trial of embattled Federal High Court Judge Justice Mohammed Nasir Yinusa before a Special Offences Court in Ikeja Lagos, was on Tuesday stalled as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission brought an application for change of counsel.

Justice Yinusa is standing trial alongside Esther Agbor a staff of Rickey Tarfa chambers who was accused of paying the sum of N1.5 million into his UBA account.

Yinusa was also accused of receiving financial benefit from a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Nwobike in order to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.

At Thursday’s proceedings, Yinusa’s counsel, Robert Clarke challenged the incoming counsel for EFCC, Wahab Shittu on the application for change of counsel, describing it as ‘invalid.’ because the application did not have the stamp and seal of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Shittu however in his defence told the court that they had paid for the stamp and seal at the NBA before even filing the application.

“My Lord, the applicant should not be made to pay for the tardiness of the NBA. The Access Bank slip for which the payment was made was attached to the application,” Shittu said.

The Judge in a short ruling upheld the arguments of the prosecution, before adjourning the matter till March 9 to hear pending applications bordering on jurisdiction.

In the first Count, Justice Yinusa is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant private and confidential telephone communications with Mr Rickey Tarfa, SAN during a period he presided over two of the Senior advocate’s matter.
In the second count, Justice Yinusa is charged with corruption for allegedly receiving the sum of N1.5millio paid to him by his co-defendant, Esther Agbo in other to give decisions in favour of the Chambers of the Law Firm of Rickey Tarfa.

The EFCC also alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N750,000 from Mr Nwobike and in the fifth charge, Esther Agbo is charged with offering gratification of NI.5m to Justice Yinusa in order to induce him to give decisions in favour of the Law Chambers of Rickey Tarfa, charges which both defendants pleaded not guilty to.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
By: Ayomide Odekanyin
The Tribune News