Witness reveals how Akpobolokemi’s lawyer, Nwobike paid judge N750,000

A witness in the ongoing trial of Dr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), who is standing trial for allegedly bribing a Federal High Court judge, on Friay told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere, how the senior lawyer paid N750,000 into Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa’s bank account with Zenith bank.

Nwobike is the lawyer representing former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi in five criminal cases filed against him at the Federal and Lagos State High courts.

The witness, Oyekunle Aderemi, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank made the disclosure when he was confronted with the statement account of the defendant.

In the account statement, the witness identified the transaction of 19 March 2015 where the defendant paid the sum of N750,000 (seven hundred and fifty thousand naira) into Justice Yunusa’s account.

Earlier, the prosecution had moved to tender the account statement but the defence counsel, O. Akanni, SAN, objected to the admissibility of the document.

But when the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, applied to withdraw the document, Akanni withdrew his objection and the document was admitted and marked as exhibit P2.

Oyedepo also led the second prosecution witness, Oliver Owaremi, also a compliance officer with Access Bank in evidence. He told the court that his bank received a request from EFCC seeking an account information on Hawa Ajiya Nigeria Limited, a company that was alleged to be part of the channels the defendant used to transfer money to Justice Yunusa.

Another Federal High Court Judge, Justice Hyeledzira Nganjiwa Ajiya was said to be the owner and sole signatory of the company’s account.

From this account, the witness showed the debit transaction of N300,000 to Justice Yunusa from the company’s account on 30 November, 2015. During cross-examination, the witness said that apart from the transactions of 28 September 2015 and that of 30 November 2015, there were no other transactions between Joseph Nwobike and Hawa Ajiya or Justice Yunusa.

Justice Adebiyi adjourned the matter to 12, 26 and 30 May 2016 for continuation of trial.

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