The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wednesday arraigned a Federal High Court judge, Mohammed Nasir Yinusa before the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.
Justice Yinusa was arraigned on a four-count charge before Justice Sherifat Solebo alongside Esther Agbor, a staff of Rickey Tarfa (SAN) law firm, who was arraigned on a one-count charge.
The charges against the defendants border on offering of gratification and perversion of course of justice.
The EFCC alleged that Justice Yinusa attempted to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant private and confidential telephone communications with Mr. Rickey Tarfa when he presided over two of the senior advocate’s cases.
The commission also alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N1.5 million from his co-defendant, Esther Agbor, in order to give decisions in favour Tarfa’s law firm in a suit they are handling.
The Federal High Court Judge is also charged with agreeing to receive financial benefit from Joseph Nwobike (SAN) in order to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.
According to EFCC, Justice Yinusa allegedly received the sum of N750, 000 from the lawyer.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges
In view of their plea, counsel to EFCC, Mr. Anslem Ozioko, asked the court to remand the defendants in prison custody, and fixed a trial date.
Justice Yinusa’s counsel, Mr. I. Mohammed, however opposed the application by EFCC counsel, and urged the court to grant his client bail on self recognisance.
Similarly, counsel to the 2nd defendant, Mr. John Odubela (SAN), also prayed the court to grant his client bail on the grounds that she is a nursing mother who just put to bed through cesarean, adding that she would not jump bail if granted.
Ruling on the bail applications, Justice Solebo granted bail to the judge on self-recognisance in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum.
She also ordered that the defendant must not travel out of the court jurisdiction while the 2nd defendant was also granted bail in the sum of N1 million with sureties in like sum.
The judge thereafter adjourned the matter till February 20, 2018, for commencement of trial.