The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Tuesday, arraigned a serving judge of the National Industrial Court, Justice Agbadu James Fishim before Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of Lagos State High Court, sitting in Ikeja on a 19 -count charge bordering on unlawful enrichment to the tune of N4.7 million.
The defendant is alleged to have received monies from different lawyers, including some senior advocates, in the course of discharging his duties as a judge, which he could not account for.
When the charges were read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.
One of the charge read, “that you Honourable Justice Agbadu James Fishim between the 10th day of March and 19th December, 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court enriched yourself with an aggregate sum of N700,000.00 (Seven Hundred Thousand Naira) from Chief Felix Fagboungbe through your account number (3008199491), domiciled in First Bank Plc so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income”.
Another charge read “that you Honourable Justice Agbadu James Fishim on or about the 12th day of December, 2014 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, being a judge of the National Industrial Court enriched yourself with the sum of N150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) from Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, through your account number (2006900216) domiciled in First Bank Plc so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income”.
In view of the plea, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in prison custody.
Counsel to the defendant, Amuda Kannike, SAN, made an oral bail application in accordance with law, asking the court to grant the defendant bail on self recognition.
The prosecution counsel, however, did not oppose the bail application made orally by the defence counsel.
“I leave the issue of bail to your Lordship, but I will only ask your Lordship for conditions and terms for bail that will make the defendant appear in court for trial” Rotimi said.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi said the essence of bail is to ensure that defendant appear and stand trial.
“In view of the defendant’s status in the society, I hereby grant the defendant bail on self recognition”
“The defendant shall deposit his international passport with the court registrar in the course of trial” Justice Adebiyi said.
Justice Adebiyi, however, adjourned the matter to November 11, 12 and 13, 2017, for trial.