EFCC: Anti-graft Commission Arraigns Judge Over Corruption Allegations

He was on arraigned on a five-count charge alongside Esther Agbo, a staff of the Law Firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN Rickey Tarfa.

They both appeared before the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Solebo on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

They, however, pleaded not guilty when the corruption charges were read to them.

The prosecuting Counsel, Anselm Oziokor, therefore, asked the court to remand the defendants in custody and grant a date for their trial.

Counsels for the defendants instead asked the Court to grant them bail.

In her ruling, Justice Solebi stated that Justice Yinusa is still a judicial officer. She, therefore, admitted him to bail on self recognition.

She, however, prohibited Justice Yinusa from traveling out of jurisdiction without an order of the court.

The trial judge also ordered the EFCC to remit Justice Yinusa’s passport to the Chief Registrar of the court within seven days.

The second defendant, Esther Agbo, was also granted bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like same.

The sureties must live within jurisdiction of the court and show evidence of tax payment for the last 3 years.

The trial has been fixed for the 20th February.

In the first count, Justice Yinusa was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant price and confidential telephone communications with a Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN) during a period he presided over two of the Senior advocate’s matter.

In the second count, he was charged with corruption for allegedly receiving the sum of N1.5 million paid to him by his co-defendant, Esther Agni in other to give decisions in favour of the Chambers of the Law Firm of Rickey Tarfa.

In the third count, Justice Yinusa was charged with agreeing to receive financial benefit from another Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Nwobike in other to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.

In count the fourth count, the EFCC alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N750,000 from Mr Nwobike and in the fifth charge, Esther Agbo was charged with offering gratification of NI.5million to Justice Yinusa in order to induce him to give decisions in favour of the Law Chambers of Rickey Tarfa.

Nwobike and Tarfa are currently being prosecuted by the EFCC in other courts.

In 2016, the National Judicial Council, NJC recommended the retirement of Justice Yinusa but President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to act on this recommendation and Justice Yinusa has instituted moves to get the NJC to reconsider this decision.

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