Friday, July 7, 2017

Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - UNSTAR DETAILS: Of how senior Nigerian lawyer allegedly bribed court clerks, selected ‘compliant’ judges

Dear Salimonu Kadiri:

You are a walking encyclopedia of Nigerian matters;  I bow!

When one studies Nigeria closely, it makes one want to holler.  To be a conscientious Nigerian is almost to become insane; it is almost like an affliction.  So much potential, so little kinetic - and 98% of it is because of galloping corruption aided by the VERY people who should prevent it - law-makers (eg elected representatives), security officers (eg Army and Police) and the Judiciary (Lawyers, court Registrars and Judges.).

Lord have mercy on Nigeria!

Bolaji Aluko
Shaking his head

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 2:26 PM, Salimonu Kadiri <> wrote:

Thank you Bolaji for your post below. The ruling elites in Nigeria simply see governance as a means of sharing food among themselves and where they eat on behalf of their ethno-religious groups. One can see how the ruling elites exploit the ignorance and the lottery mentality of the masses in Nigeria who believe in luck and mouth watering wins without any visible hard work in life to get rich. Before Ruben Abati was drawn to the government's smorgasbord or dining table by President Goodluck Jonathan, Ruben wrote on sudden wealth of Nigerians without labour when the then Governor of Bayelsa State, D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, dressed like a woman to jump bail in London where he was standing trial for money laundering. Ruben Abati wrote that in Nigeria, "You could be as poor as a church rat in January and become a multibillionaire in March, nobody will ask any questions. Because Nigerians love miracles, they will attribute the sudden change of fortune to a miracle made possible by a certain pastor's (he failed to add an Imam's) intervention. 

Treasury looting or corruption in Nigeria cuts across ethno-religious boundaries. Thus, in our dear country, the clerics (both Christians and Muslims), politicians (at federal, state and local government levels), the judiciary (lawyers and judges), intellectuals (civil servants in government and parastatals) and thieves are inseparable partners. Although we are supposed to be operating the US style of Government, the Nigerian ruling elites have deliberately avoided to adopt the American Forfeiture Law, tied to the Rackteer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act, RICO. RICO, as we know entitles any citizen to go to any federal court and show that an asset is a proceed from ill-gotten wealth or public money. The advantage of RICO is that the onus of proof is on the accused who has to account for the legitimate source of his/her wealth. During Gowon's era there was attempt of something like RICO, which was swearing of affidavit against illegitimate sudden wealth accumulator, but that right was revoked in association with the famous Tarka/Daboh's debacle. Up till now the Presidency,(except Buhari), the Judiciary and the Legislatures as well as the educated elites running the government and parastatals are united in robbing the nation to ruin. In the Nigerian Vanguard online of 12 August 2013, it reported the unity of Nigeria's rogue elites thus, "Agreeing with President Jonathan that Nigeria cannot break, Lamido (Sule Lamido, the then Governor of Jigawa State) said, It is too weak to break. Who will break it? The ordinary person in Jigawa or the ordinary person in Sokoto or the ordinary person in Bayelsa? Is it the Ibo vulcanizer or the Yoruba woman that is selling kerosene by the roadside or the Okada man in Delta? They don't have the capacity to unite because they are burdened by poverty. We have taken away from them their dignity, their self esteem, their pride and self worth so that they cannot even organise. Up there, we (elite) unite, we sing and so we will never allow Nigeria to break because once it breaks, we will lose. But the common man loses nothing. What is he losing? He is already living in hell; he cannot lose anything more than this hell." In other countries of the world, What Governor Lamido said would have provoked nationwide uprising against the rulers, but not in Nigeria. Since he left office in May 2015, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State has been on trial for looting his State of billions of naira that should have been spent to develop his State. The national looters themselves have declared publicly, with confidence, that the EFCC can prosecute in courts as much as it wants but it can never get conviction.

The backbone of corruption and treasury looters in Nigeria is the Judiciary and courts have been turned into cemetery where justice is murdered and buried, no matter what efforts are made by EFCC. Going back to 2003, in the electoral contest for the Anambra South Senatorial Election between Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu and Dr. Ugochukwu Uba, the latter was declared winner by INEC. Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu went to the Election Petition Tribunal and won. However, Dr. Uba appealed the judgement to the Court of Appeal where he won. Subsequent evidence showed that the victory of Dr. Uba at the appeal court was purchased for a total sum of Twenty-seven million naira paid to two of the three Judges of the Appeal court. Honourable Justice Okechukwu Opene received fifteen million naira while Honourable Justice David Adedoyin Adeniji received twelve million naira as bribes. The third Justice, Hon. Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs did not get any bribe but gave victory to Prince Ukachukwu. The National Judicial Council investigated the bribery allegation and found Justices Opene and Adeniji guilty and thereafter recommended them  to President Obasanjo for dismissal which he effected on 3 May 2005. However, Prince Ukachukwu did not get back his Senatorial seat as Dr. Uba retained the seat without being punished legally as a bribe giver.

On August 22, 2006, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court granted the EFCC order to retain the sum of 104 million naira seized from an associate of Patience Jonathan, the wife of the then Governor of Bayelsa State, Goodluck Jonathan pending hearing in suit number FHC/ABJ/M/340/06 filed on August 21, 2006 by the EFCC. On 11 September 2006, the EFCC seized the sum of $13.5 million (US) from Mrs Patience Jonathan at Port Harcourt Airport. The case files are today missing.

On Monday, 10 May 2010, The then Chairman of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and three others were arraigned before Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, Abuja, on 16-count charge of abuse of office and theft. Ogbulafor and the others, Mr. Emekah Ebilah, Henry Okoh and Jude Nwokoro were alleged to have exploited their positions in the National Economic Intelligence Committee, sometimes in 2005 to defraud the federal government and amass wealth for themselves in the conduct of their official duties. They allegedly included names of companies that did not execute any contract for the Federal Government in the verified contracts' list for beneficiaries of FG's payments for contracts executed. The companies were Henchiriko Nigeria Ltd, DHL Consultants, Chekwas Industries, Emperol Company Ltd, Gomp-Con Associates as well as Ebilah-Falomon and Partners. Those companies were fraudulently paid N82.6 million, N11.5 million, N6.2 million, N12.7 million, N11.6 million and N14.9 million respectively for contracts not awarded and executed. In his ruling, Justice Bello granted Ogbulafor and others bail and the trial was adjourned till 21 June 2010 where it had thenceforth remained in coma. 

Here follows a list of Nigerian Governors whose tenure and immunity expired in 2007 and whose prosecution by the EFCC for treasury looting and money laundry began on and after 27 July 2007, but the cases are still inconclusive or partially concluded.

1) Alhaji Sani Yerima - Zamfara State.

2) Abdullahi Adamu - Nasarawa State.

3) Dr. Peter Odili - Rivers State.*

4) Dr.Chimaroke Nnamani -Enugu  " 

5)Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi - Kaduna    "

6)Alhaji Attahiu Bafarawa - Sokoto  "

7)Ahmadu Adamu Muazu -Bauchi    "

8)Chief Lucky Igbinedion -  Edo  State*  

9)Alhaji Saminu Turaki - Jigawa State*

10 )Chief Orji Uzor Kalu - Abia State*

11) Victor Attah - Akwa-Ibom State

12) Donald Duke - Cross River State

13) Chief Achike Udenwa - Imo State

14) Joshua Dariye - Plateau        State.

15) Mohammed Adamu Aliero-Kebi. "

16) Alhaji A. A. Kure - Niger State.

17) George I Akume - Benue State.

18) Ali Mordu Sheriff - Borno State.

19) Ibrahim Idris - Kogi State.

20) Ayo Fayose - Ekiti State.

21) James Ibori - Delta State.*

22) Rashidi Ladoja - Oyo State.*

23) Alao Akala - Oyo State.*

24) Boni Haruna - Adamawa State

25) Jolly Nyame - Taraba State.

26) Danjuma Goje - Gombe State.

3* Peter Odili applied and got a High Court perpetual injunction order against any prosecuting authority in Nigeria from arresting, detaining, interrogating and prosecuting him over the crime of looting and laundering the sum of N100 billion belonging to Rivers State. The EFCC appealed against the perpetual injunction order issued by Justice Ibrahim Njaure Buba of Port Harcourt High Court, but the appeal has never been listed for hearing till date.

8* Lucky Igbinedion in a plead bargaining pleaded guilty to looting Edo state N2.9 billion and the court asked him to refund N500 million which means he was permitted by the court to keep N2.4 billion he stole from the people of Edo. The EFCC re-opened the case when it was later found that the actual amount looted was N25 billion, but the case has since been in coma.

9 &10* Saminu Turaki was unable to fulfil his bail condition for looting Jigawa State of the sum of N36 billion but Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State whose bail conditions were fulfilled by Atiku Abubakar and Ibrahim Babangida, helped to arrange for an Abia monarch, Eze Onuigbo to fix Saminu Turaki's bail on August 4, 2007.   

21* James Ibori was  discharged and acquitted on 170-count charge of looting Delta State's treasury when he was Governor between 1999 and 2007 by Justice Marcel Awokunlehin of Asaba High Court. The same James Onabefe Ibori was later jailed in London for 13 years, after pleading guilty to laundering £250 million he stole from Delta State, in London and buying properties there.

22 & 23* Rashidi Ladoja was impeached and replaced by Alao Akala. Thus a total of 25 states out of 36 states had their Governors under trial for treasury lootings after the end of their tenure in 2007 and as stated earlier, the courts have seen to it that their cases remain inconclusive till date.

Before Buhari came into power, it was open an secret that billions of naira were collected from the Federal government as fuel subsidy for unsupplied fuels. The culprits were identified but prosecutions never took place. Even when Farouk Lawan was caught in camera receiving bribe from Femi Otedola in exchange for the removal of the latter's company from the House of Reps Committee's list of those who fraudulently received fuel subsidies, Farouk Lawan was only removed from the House but his prosecution is still ongoing at a snail speed since 2012. When the DSS rode a rough shod with some Judges a while ago, there were outcries of intimidations against the judiciary, but no one has ever stopped to blick at the Judges who are the real backbones of treasury looters in Nigeria. When Judges are arraigned for perverting justice in exchange for bribes, does anyone expect any judge to convict his colleague when everyone in the judiciary is also a bribery taker? In other parts of the world, citizens would have poured into the streets to demand the recovery of Nigeria's assets stolen by few Nigerians in collaboration with the lawmakers backed by the Judiciary. Instead Nigerians have been bored by ethnic outcry of marginalisation. Ethnic bigots have diverted our attention from chasing leprosy to ring-worm. That is the tragedy of today's Nigeria as I see it.

S. Kadiri    


Från: <> för Mobolaji Aluko <>
Skickat: den 5 juli 2017 12:24
Kopia: naijaintellects; OmoOdua;; NaijaPolitics e-Group; ekiti ekitigroups;; NigerianWorldForum;
Ämne: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - UNSTAR DETAILS: Of how senior Nigerian lawyer allegedly bribed court clerks, selected 'compliant' judges

My People:

One more thing:  you can see the pan-ethnic nature of Nigeria's corruption in this issue:  SAN Nwobike (an Igbo) bribing Justice Yunusa (a Hausa-Fulani Judge) through Registrsr/clerk Mr. Jide (a Yoruba) on behalf of accused former Nimasa head Akpobolokeme (an Ijaw).

When crime is being committed in Nigeria, there is no "marginalization" outcry.....when punishment is to be meted out now,  it is "Leave my thief alone:  ns him alone dey?".  Even kidnapper Evans has a "Free Evans" Movement!

Lord have mercy!

Bolaji Aluko
Shaking his hesd

On Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Mobolaji Aluko <> wrote:

My People:

Kai!  Kindly read below the OVERWHELMING evidence of extreme judicial corruption being perpetrated by lawyers (SAN o!), clerks/registrars and judges to pervert justice on behalf of their clients and the accused before them - and shake your head.   

Those who should be administering justice become "clients of injustice".  Lord have mercy!

I have been told by some lawyers and even judges that these clerks and registrars are some of the richest people in the "food chain of injustice" in our country - assigning cases to compliant judges on behalf of so-called "brilliant" lawyers (brilliant only because they know how to manipulate the Nigeria system without detection), delaying cases, removing files, doing "insider informing",  etcheram ad nauseum - and that the the lawyers and judges know who among them are the "bad eggs".  But they ask:  what can they do unless those eggs are prosecuted and removed?  What do you do when NJC removes accused "bad eggs" to the bench under the guise that their prosecution was not speedy enough?

You can see why there is an assault against EFCC by all and sundry as corruption continues to "fight back".  

The EFCC is sometimes to be blamed though because it issues too many counts against the accused - 11 in this case, but sometimes as many as 90 - and then it amends and  re-amends those counts as the case goes along as it gets new evidence of even more corruption.

Why does the EFCC not concentrate on those few counts that will send the accused to jail the LONGEST - if found guilty - and when he or she is in jail, go after other counts to keep 'em there?  But spending 10 years to go after 90 counts - and not getting any conviction - seems not to be strategic.  It is like chasing after 90 rats and letting them all get away instead of concentrating on one fat rat.

Anyway sha, kudos to EFCC!  Our judiciary must be sanitized, otherwise we are really done for.  In fact, coming to think of it, in the anti-corruption battle, that is the greatest imperative.

And there you have it.  We should be watching this case.

Bolaji Aluko


SHOCKING details of how senior Nigerian lawyer allegedly bribed court clerks, selected 'compliant' judges

The prosecuting team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday in Lagos confronted Joseph Nwobike, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, with various text messages he allegedly sent to court officials to unduly influence cases he was handling.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Nwobike is being tried by the EFCC on an 11-count charge bordering on perverting the course of justice and offering gratification to public officials at an Ikeja High Court.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Mr. Nwobike offered gratifications to some judges of the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court to influence them to act contrary to their official capacities.

The EFCC also claimed that Mr. Nwobike engaged in sending illegal text messages with four registrars of the Federal High Court in a bid to unduly influence his cases being tried by the judges.

Mr. Nwobike, however, denied all the charges.

On July 3, while being led in evidence by his defence counsel, Olawale Akoni, Mr. Nwobike had told the court that the money he allegedly gave to the judges was not gratification but "assistance".

He insisted that the judges were old friends whom he had been acquainted with while in the university long before they were assigned as judges.

A compact disc (Exhibit P21) allegedly containing text messages from the SAN's seized mobile phone (Exhibit P18) was projected on a screen during the cross-examination of Nwobike.

Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecution counsel of the EFCC during the proceedings on Tuesday, accused Mr. Nwobike of sending text messages to Mr. Baruwa, a clerk of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

He claimed that Mr. Nwobike was aware that Mr. Baruwa worked with one Mr. Jide, a Deputy Registrar of the court.

Responding, Mr. Nwobike said: "I know Mr. Baruwa, he is a clerk of the Federal High Court, I do not know he works with Mr Jide, he told me that his office is directly opposite Mr Jide's office.

"I have had cause to send messages to Baruwa in the course of my duties just like any other legal practitioner."

Disputing Mr. Nwobike's claims, Mr. Oyedepo said that Mr. Nwobike was aware that the clerk shared office with the Deputy Registrar.

"Would you be surprised if I tell you that Baruwa works directly with Mr Jide in the Federal High Court and that his desk is opposite Mr Jide's desk.

"Baruwa informed you in a text that Mr Jide is back in the office," he said.

Mr. Nwobike again denied reading the text message from Mr. Baruwa. Mr. Oyedepo, however, confronted him with the evidence on the screen in the courtroom that he actually read the text message.

Mr. Oyedepo showed him text messages in which details of lawsuits were allegedly sent by Nwobike to Baruwa in a bid to assign the cases to some specific judges.

"On page 3984 of exhibit P21, there was a text from you to Mr. Jide in which you mentioned a case AMCON V Bizel Finance and Investment Ltd.

"At 12.59 p.m. on September 4, 2015, you forwarded the suit details of First Bank V O.P.I International Ltd, you mentioned that the suits should be assigned to Justice Buba.

"As at September 4, 2015 when you sent that text message, the matter was not yet assigned to any judge and on Nov. 27, 2015, at 10.46 am, you sent a text message to Mr Jide giving details of Godwin Ewekolu Vs Inspector General of Police.

"When the text was forwarded, Justice Kurya was a judge of the Federal High Court and you impressed it on Jide that it was very urgent that the case be assigned to him.

"In the suit between Skye Bank Plc and Brokeyard Marine Oil and Gas Services Ltd, you forwarded the suit details to Mr. Jide as shown on the screen.

"As at the time you forwarded the suit details to Mr. Jide, Brokeyard Marine Oil and Gas Services Ltd were under investigation by the EFCC.

"The Kurya J you mentioned in that text message is Hon. Justice Kurya of the Federal High Court," he said.

Denying Mr. Oyedepo's accusations, Mr. Nwobike said "The text messages I sent were just confirmation text messages.

"On whether I knew that Brokeyard Marine Oil and Gas Services were under investigation by the EFCC, I don't know because I don't work for the EFCC."

Mr. Oyedepo accused Mr. Nwobike of obstructing the prosecution of Femi Thomas, his client, who was allegedly caught at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport with 200 million dollars.

"On November 11, 2015, you sent a message to Mr. Jide of the Federal High Court about a criminal charge filed against your client Dr Femi Thomas asking that it should be assigned to Justice Seidu.

"This suit was suit was eventually assigned to Justice Seidu and as at 1.23 p.m. on the day you sent the text, this matter was not assigned to any judge.

"Are you aware as a SAN that it is an offence not to declare an amount exceeding $10,000, are you aware that the amount your client travelling with was 200 million dollars?

"In a desperate bid to prevent the EFCC from continuing the investigation, you instituted a fundamental rights action (exhibit P23).

"You forwarded details of this suit in a text to Mr. Jide and in the usual manner, you mentioned Justice Yinusa to handle the case.

"Upon instituting this suit, the EFCC appeared before Justice Yinusa and the matter was resolved by His Lordship; you also did not file any process for the execution of the order you bought from Hon. Justice Yinusa.

"On November 9, 2015, Felix Deckon your litigation officer forwarded a text message forwarded a text message to Mr Jide.

"Text contained details of the charge preferred against your client by the EFFC," Mr. Oyedepo said.

"I will not agree with you that in a desperate bid to stop the EFCC, I filed the fundamental rights action.

"The money in question was $2.2million and not $200million and my client was asking for the return of the $2.2million seized from his agent at the airport.

"I forwarded details of this suit to Mr Jide for confirmation purposes," Mr. Nwobike claimed.

The EFCC also accused the lawyer of undue interference in a case involving Beauty Akpobolokemi and the anti-graft agency.

Beauty Akpobolokemi is the wife of Patrick Akpobolokemi, the former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, standing trial over alleged fraud.

"On November 9, 2015, you received and read a message from Mr. Baruwa of the Federal High Court forwarding the details of a case between Beauty Akpobolokemi and the EFCC.

"The text informed you that the case has been assigned to Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and you filed a suit against the EFCC.

"You filed the suit against the EFCC in the middle of an EFCC investigation of Patrick Akpobolokemi.

"Prior to November 9, 2015, you forwarded a text to Mr. Jide where the name of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia was mentioned.

"At 8.50 a.m. on that day, you sent a text to Mr. Baruwa saying 'Okay please take the file there now.'

"At 5.32 p.m., you forwarded the particulars of the case to Jide and this matter was eventually assigned to Justice Ajumogobia,

"Before Beauty Akpobolokemi suit was filed, you sent some names to Mr. Baruwa to monitor in case the EFCC prefers some charges against them," Oyedepo said.

"I don't know when the case of Beauty Akpobolokemi Vs the EFCC was assigned, it is not correct that I sent some names to Baruwa to monitor in case the EFCC files some charges," Mr. Nwobike said.

Showing the SAN the documents on the screen in the courtroom, Mr. Oyedepo said "At 9.38 a.m. on November 5, 2015 you received and read a text from Mr Baruwa.

"The text read 'good morning sir, no charged have been filed against those clients by the EFCC…'

"Your reply was 'Thanks I am grateful.'

"These instructions you gave to Mr Baruwa, were they for free, have you had cause to give him money through your juniors, money transferred to him in the exercise of his duties?"

Responding, Mr. Nwobike said "No I have not given him any money."

The EFCC prosecutor disputing the claim asked Mr. Nwobike if he knew any person called Zainab Kilani, and he answered in the affirmative, saying she is a junior in his law chambers.

"You received and read a text from Mr. Baruwa saying 'Thank you sir, Kelani gave me your special package

"On June 3, 2015 at 10.10am, you received a text from Mr. Baruwa saying 'Good morning Sir, I just got a golden handshake from Mr. Felix Sir.

"Exhibit D2 is a statement of account from your law chambers, on Jan. 17, 2011 you transferred N50,000 to Mr. Baruwa," Mr. Oyedepo added.

Accusing the senior advocate further of obstructing justice, Mr. Oyedepo said Mr. Nwobike received photocopies of EFCC charges that were not yet filed in court.

"Mr. Baruwa sent a text message acknowledging handing over the charges to Mr Felix Deckon, your litigation officer.

"A charge that is not filed was given to you by your litigation officer without you applying for a certified true copy," Mr. Oyedepo said.

Denying the accusations, Mr. Nwobike said "I did not apply for a certified true copy and I did not receive photocopy of the charge and I only received the charge when it was served on my clients."

Justice Raliatu Adebiyi adjourned the case until July 12 at 10.3 a.m. for continuation of trial.


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