Oladimeji Ramon

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has amended the criminal charges it filed against a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Nwobike.

The SAN was charged last year March with five counts bordering on alleged offering of gratification to some judges.

The EFCC claimed that Nwobike offered N750,000 gratification to Justice Mohammed Yunusa and N300,000 to Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa both of the Federal High Court.

The anti-graft agency claimed that Nwobike offered the money to the judges to pervert the course of justice.

It claimed that the SAN acted contrary to Section 97 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.

But Nwobike, who was arraigned on March 9, 2016 before Justice Raliat Adebiyi, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He was admitted to bail on self-recognisance and trial commenced subsequently.

In the trial, which has reached an advanced stage, both the prosecution and the defence are already wrapping up their arguments.

However, at the Friday proceedings in the case, counsel for the EFCC, Mohammed Idris, told the judge that the anti-graft agency intended to amend its charges and re-arraign Nwobike.

He argued that by the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the prosecution was at liberty to amend its charges any time before the delivery of judgment.

The lawyer, however, noted that the intended amendment would not require the prosecution to re-open its case.

As a result, Justice Adebiyi adjourned till November 24, 2016, for the prosecution and the defence to adopt their final written addresses in the case, after which a date for judgment may be fixed.



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