Nigerian court convicts top lawyer in corruption trial

Nwobike risks losing his license to practice law if higher courts uphold the ruling

Nigerian court convicts top lawyer in corruption trial

World Bulletin / News Desk

A top Nigerian lawyer was on Monday convicted for attempting to “obstruct the course of justice”, two years after he was arraigned on corruption charges, namely a five-count charge of offering bribe to some judges. 

Joseph Nwobike, a holder of the country's highest rank for lawyers (Senior Advocate of Nigeria), was sentenced to one month in jail for attempting to influence the allocation of his cases to ‘preferred judges’.

But the court acquitted him on other charges of offering $2,083 and $833 gratifications to two different judges.

The court held that the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, proved “beyond reasonable doubts” that Nwobike was in constant communication with certain court officials to influence the assignment of his cases to preferred judges in a bid to get predetermined rulings.

The conviction comes as a reward to the anti-graft war of the Muhammadu Buhari government, which had in the past accused lawyers and judges of frustrating his anti-corruption campaigns by hiding under legal technicalities.

Nwobike risks losing his license to practice law if higher courts uphold the ruling.

In 2016, the country’s secret police rounded up a number of judges and lawyers allegedly involved in corruption in sting operations, which divided the country along the lines of those for and against the move, which critics say ate away at the independence of the judiciary. 
Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2018, 17:44
Add Comment