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EFCC Invites Senior Lawyers As Judiciary Probe Continues

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has intensified investigations into the alleged corruption in the Judicial Arm of government.

At least three senior Nigerian lawyers were reported to have been invited by the anti-graft body to give clarifications on the alleged transfer of huge sums of money into the bank accounts of some of the judges under investigation.

The lawyers, whose names were given as Paul Usoro, Gani Adetola-Kaseem, and Felix Fagbohungbe, were sighted at the Lagos office of the EFCC on Thursday.

An EFCC source who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, told an online newspaper, PREMIUM TIMES that the agency was beginning to appreciate the fact that “corruption in the judiciary is widespread.”

“Those we invited were found to have transferred money into the judges’ bank accounts,” he said, “we want them to come and explain the reason for the transfers.”

“More are still coming, about 20 to 30 of them,” he added.

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The source also noted that “Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria who have assisted the Commission in handling some of our cases in the past are also involved.

“Some of these lawyers had assisted us with useful legal opinions on several matters. So, we are in a dilemma.”

The source pointed out the leadership of EFCC may have invited the senior lawyers following accusations that the Commission was planning to cover-up the activities of these senior lawyers to preserve their existing relationship.

He also disclosed that another senior lawyer, Niyi Akintola, was also summoned by the EFCC, but he was unable to report because he had travelled to Abuja to defend a judge before the National Judicial Council, NJC.

Recall that last week, the anti-graft agency invited some judges as part of investigations into the alleged corruption in the country’s judiciary.

The judges invited include: Uwani Abba-Aji, James Agbadu-Fishim, Mohammed Yunusa, Nganjiwa Hyledzira, and Musa Kurya.

Another judge, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, was also invited by the EFCC but she failed to honour her invitation.

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“If any judge refuses to honour our summons, the EFCC will have no choice than to employ legal process to make him or her respect the law of the land,” the EFCC source said.

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