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Supreme court voids conviction of lawyer demoted as SAN for bribery

Supreme court voids conviction of lawyer demoted as SAN for bribery
December 20
12:40 2021

The supreme court has upturned the conviction of Joseph Nwobike, former senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), on technical grounds.

The court held that the EFCC lacked the power to prosecute anyone for the offence of perversion of justice.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Nwobike before a Lagos state high court on an 18-count charge bordering on “perversion of justice”.

The EFCC alleged that he attempted to pervert the course of justice, offering gratification to a public officer and giving false information to an EFCC officer.

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Raliat Adebiyi, trial judge, had convicted Nwobike on April 19, 2018, on 12 counts bordering on offering gratification to judicial officers and making false declaration to the EFCC.

The judge sentenced him to one month in prison for “attempting to pervert the course of justice”.

Following his conviction, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) stripped Nwobike of his SAN rank.

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Dissatisfied, Nwobike asked the appellate court to overrule the state high court.

But the appellate court dismissed his appeal in November 2019.

However, delivering judgment on Monday, a five-member panel of the supreme court led by Olukayode Ariwoola quashed the conviction.

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