The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arraigned Justice Mohammed Yinusa before a Lagos High Court Sitting in Ikeja.
He was arraigned on five counts charge alongside Esther Agbo, a staff of the Law Firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN Rickey Tarfa.
In 2016, the National Judicial Council, NJC had recommended the retirement of Justice Yinusa but President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to act on this recommendation and Justice Yinusa has instituted moves to get the NJC to reconsider this decision.
He was however arraigned today, January 17 alongside Esther Agbo, a staff of the Law Firm of Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa, on a 5 count charge of financial impropriety.
When the charges were read to them, they both pleaded not guilty before trial judge, Justice Sherifat Solebo.
Prosecuting Counsel, Anselm Oziokor then asked the court to remand the defendants in custody and grant a date for their trial.
Their defence team instead asked the Court to grant them bail.
In her ruling, Justice Solebi noted that Justice Yinusa is still a judicial officer. She, therefore, admitted him to bail on self-recognizance.
The court also directed that he is not to travel out of jurisdiction without an order of the court.
The EFCC was ordered to remit Justice Yinusa’s passport to the Chief Registrar of the court within seven days.
For the second defendant, Esther Agbo, she was granted bail in the sum of N1million with two sureties in like same. The sureties must live within jurisdiction of the court and show evidence of tax payment for the last 3 years.
The trial has been fixed for the 20th February.
In the first Count, Justice Yinusa is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by engaging in constant price and confidential telephone communications with a Mr Rickey Tarfa, SAN during a period he presided over two of the Senior advocate’s matter.
In the second count, Justice Yinusa is charged with corruption for allegedly receiving the sum of N1.5million paid to him by his co-defendant, Esther Agni in other to give decisions in favour of the Chambers of the Law Firm of Rickey Tarfa.
In the third count, Justice Yinusa is charged with agreeing to receive financial benefit from another Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joseph Nwobike in other to give favourable decisions in the cases of the said lawyer before him.
In count four, the EFCC alleged that Justice Yinusa received the sum of N750,000 from Mr Nwobike and in the fifth charge, Esther Agbo is charged with offering gratification of NI.5million to Justice Yinusa in order to induce him to give decisions in favour of the Law Chambers of Rickey Tarfa.
The two senior advocates linked in this matter are currently being prosecuted by the EFCC in other courts.
17 January, 2018