EFCC arraigns judge over corruption charges
NIMASA ex-boss, others forged documents, witness tells court
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Justice James Agbadu Fishim of the National Industrial Court (NIC) before an Ikeja High Court over allegation of corruption.
He was arraigned on a 19-count charged bordering on unlawful enrichment of N4.650 million contrary to Section 82 (a) of Criminal Law of Lagos State No 11, 2011.He pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge read to him.
The defence counsel, Prof. Amuda Kainke, pleaded that his client be granted bail based on his position as a sitting judge.“He was served yesterday (Monday) at 5:00 p.m. and he responded immediately. He is a sitting judge and he has a lot to lose if he decides to jump bail,” he submitted.
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail application but asked the court to condition the bail so that the defendant would be mandated to attend trial.The judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi, who granted him bail on self-recognition, said: “It is the discretion of the court to grant bail to the defendant. It should be noted that the main function of bail is so that the defendant attends trial.
“The defendant is a sitting judge of the National Industrial Court who is facing a 19-count charge of unlawful enrichment which is a bailable offence. I hereby grant the defendant bail on self-recognition and he is also expected to deposit his international passport with the chief registrar of the court.”
The judge subsequently adjourned the trial till October 11, 2017. In another development, an investigating officer with the EFCC, Mr. Chukwuma Orji, yesterday told a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, that the documents of Arrow World Consulting were forged by former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi and five others.
He said they forged the documents to steal N754 million from the agency.Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness said the real owner of the consulting firm had unsuccessfully bidded for a NIMASA contract in the past.
Orji further stated that the defendants admitted that the documents of the firm were forged.Justice Raliat Adebiyi, after listening to the testimony, adjourned further hearing till November 6, 2017.