Justice: SAN Nwobike Sentenced To 30 days Jail Term

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) became a scapegoat, today, as a Lagos judge proved the saying that the law is no respecter of persons.

Dr Joseph Agburuwhuo Nwobike SAN was convicted and sentenced to a month in prison by Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja.

He was found guilty of perversion of justice and would spend a month in jail for each of 12 counts out of 18.

He was given no option of fine.

Justice Adebiyi said, “The message to the society is that no one is above the law. The court however grant a light sentence. He is hereby sentence to 1 month of 30 days.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction and sentencing.

The convict was prosecuted on an 18-count charge bordering on an attempt to pervert the course of Justice.

One of the counts reads: “That you Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN) on the 19th day of March, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, intentionally gave the sum of N 750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) to Hon. Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court directly through your United Bank for Africa Plc Account No. 1002664061 in order that the said judge acts in the exercise of his official duties”.

Another count reads: ” That you, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), on the 15th day of December, 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, intentionally and directly gave the sum of N 250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) to one Mrs. Ogunleye Helen Aderonke, Senior Executive officer, Federal High Court Lagos judicial division in order that the said Mrs. Ogunleye Helen Aderonke acts in the exercise of her official duties.”

Nwobike pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him, thereby setting the stage for his full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, presented several witnesses and tendered various documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
Delivering her judgment today, Justice Adebiyi said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubts and with credible evidence that the convict perverted the course of justice.

The judge found Nwobike guilty on 12 counts of perversion of Justice out of the 18 counts preferred against him by the EFCC.
Consequently, Justice Adebiyi sentenced Nwobike to one month imprisonment on each of the 12 counts.
The sentences are to run concurrently.

During proceedings, Nwobike’s counsel,  Olawale Akoni SAN,  pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant is a family man with aged parents. He also has a law practice with several employees. The defendant has also never had any infractions with the law,  as he is a first time offender,” Akonni pleaded on behalf of Nwobike.
Objecting,  EFCC counsel,  Rotimi Oyedepo asked the Judge to send Nwobike to prison in order to send a strong signal to the publjc.

The EFCC first arraigned Nwobike on five charges on March 9, 2016, which he pleaded not guilty to.

 

But the EFCC amended the charges two more times, bringing the total counts to 18.

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