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Why I met Justice Yunusa privately – Nwobike









Embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, said on Wednesday that his meeting with Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court, was at the judge’s request, adding that he saw no need to inform any other lawyer before the meeting.
Nwobike is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 11 counts bordering on perversion of the course of justice and offering gratification to public officials.
The EFCC claimed, in the charges, that Nwobike engaged in sending illegal text messages to four registrars of the Federal High Court in a bid to unduly influence his cases being heard by the judges.
    
 Nwobike has, however, denied all the charges.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, while cross-examining Nwobike at the Wednesday’s proceedings in the case, confronted the SAN with a statement he (Nwobike) had made at the EFFC office where he stated that Justice Yunusa requested to see him and he met with the judge in front of his chambers.
 “I would be correct to say that when you saw Justice Yunusa, you had matters pending before him.
“And I would also be correct to say that when you paid N750,000 to Justice Yunusa, you had matters pending before him,” Oyedepo said.
Responding, Nwobike said, “Yes.”
While answering question on whether the opposing counsel in all the matters before Justice Yunusa were present when he met the judge, Nwobike said, “No, because it was not necessary.”
When asked if he knew, as a SAN, that he had obligations as an officer of the court not to do anything that might obstruct, delay or adversely disrupt the administration of justice, Nwobike answered in the affirmative.
When asked if it was proper for a judge to receive an offer from a lawyer who had pending cases before him, Nwobike said no.
“By virtue of what is in my statement, it is not proper,” Nwobike said.
Confronting Nwobike further, Oyedepo displayed Exhibit P21, a compact disc containing text messages from Nwobike’s mobile phone.
Oyedepo told the court that Nwobike had sent text messages at various times to one Helen Ogunleye, a registrar of Justice Musa Kurya of the Federal High Court.
When the messages exchanged between Nwobike and Ogunleye were displayed, Nwobike admitted to have sent a message to her on December 16, 2013, as displayed in column 13,957 stating a suit number.
Justice Raliat Adebiyi adjourned the matter till October 10, 2017 for adoption of final written address.






































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