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Senior Lawyer Denies Bribing Court Staff

Senior Lawyer, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, Tuesday denied bribing court officials in other to pervert the course of justice as alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Nwobike stated this while been cross examined by EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo at the resumed hearing of an 11-count charge bordering on perverting the course of justice and offering gratification to public officials.

Rotimi had confronted the SAN with text messages he sent to court officials to allegedly unduly influence court cases he was handling.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Nwobike offered gratifications to some judges of the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court to influence them to act contrary to their official capacities.

The EFCC further claimed that Nwobike engaged in sending illegal text messages with four registrars of the Federal High Court in a bid to unduly influence his cases being tried by the judges.

Nwobike, however, denied all the charges.

The defendant had on July 3, while being led in evidence by his defence counsel, Mr Olawale Akoni (SAN), Nwobike had told the court that the money he allegedly gave to the judges as gratification were assistance.

He had noted that the judges were old friends who he had been acquainted with while in University which was long before they were assigned as judges

A compact disc (Exhibit P21) allegedly containing text messages from the SAN’s seized mobile phone (Exhibit P18) was projected on a screen during the cross-examination of Nwobike at his ongoing trial at an Ikeja High Court.

Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecution counsel of the EFCC during proceedings on Tuesday, accused Nwobike of sending text messages to Mr Baruwa, a clerk of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

He claimed that Nwobike was aware that Baruwa worked with one Mr Jide, a Deputy Registrar of the court.

Responding, Nwobike said “I know Mr Baruwa, he is a clerk of the Federal High Court, I do not know he works with Mr Jide, he told me that his office is directly opposite Mr Jide’s office.

“I have had course to send messages to Mr Baruwa in the course of my duties just like any other legal practitioner,” Nwobike said.

Disputing Nwobike’s claims, Oyedepo said that Nwobike was aware that the clerk shared an office with the Deputy Registrar.

Denying Oyedepo’s accusations, Nwobike said “The text messages I sent were just confirmation text messages.

“On whether I knew that Brokeyard Marine Oil and Gas Services were under investigation by the EFCC, I don’t know because I don’t work for the EFCC,” Nwobike said.

Oyedepo accused the SAN of obstructing the prosecution of one of his client who was allegedly court at the Muritala International Airport with $200million dollars.

“On Nov. 11, 2015 you sent a message to Mr Jide of the Federal High Court about a criminal charge filed against your client asking that it should be assigned to Justice Seidu.

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