Embattled Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN), who is facing prosecution for allegedly offering gratification to judges, was on Thursday, re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nwobike’s re-arraignment follows an amendment of charges pressed against him by the anti-graft agency, which initially was five when he was first arraigned on March 9, 2016.
In the new charges, the EFCC claimed that Nwobike bribed Justices Mohammed Yunusa and Hyeladzira Nganjiwa with N750,000 and N300,000 gratifications respectively to allegedly pervert the course of justice.
EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, claimed that the lawyer acted contrary to Section 97 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.
Nwobike’s lead counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN), however, urged the court to discharge and acquit his client, contending that the EFCC failed to substantiate its allegations against him.
“Our contention is that the prosecution has not been able to produce any cogent or reliable evidence proving the essential ingredient of the charges.
“We urge Your Lordship that where there is any doubt at all, that doubt should be resolved in favour of the defendant,” Akoni said.
Akoni further argued that there was no law that criminalise giving gifts to judges and accused the EFCC of desperation in its alleged bid to nail his client at all costs.