The arraignment of Justice Mohammed Yunusa by the EFCC for alleged corruption and attempted perversion of justice has again suffered a setback at an Ikeja High Court in Lagos.
It was gathered that Yunusa a suspended justice of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court and Esther Agbo, a staff in the law chambers of Mr Rickey Tarfa (SAN), were to be arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja High Court on Wednesday.
Yunusa is to be tried on a four-count charge of attempted perversion of the course of justice and corruption by a public official, while Agbo is to be tried on a charge of allegedly offering gratification to a public official.
The EFCC in its charge sheet alleges that Yunusa constantly engaged in private and confidential communications with Tarfa, who was handling three lawsuits marked FHC/L/CS/714/2015, FHC/L/CS/715/2015 and FHC/L/CS/716/2015 before him.
The anti-graft agency is also alleging that Yunusa collected a gratification of N1.5million from Tarfa for the purpose of giving favourable rulings and judgments in the cases.
The first defendant is also being accused of receiving N750, 000 from Mr Joseph Nwobike (SAN), between March and September, 2015, to get a favourable decision in cases being handled by Nwobike before him.
The EFCC also claims that Agbo, a staff of Rickey Tarfa and Co on May 14, 2015 paid the N1.5m allegedly from Tarfa into Yunusa’s UBA account number 1005055617.
It said the offences were in violation of Sections 64(1)(a) and 97(3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
NAN recalls that the first attempt to arraign the defendants before justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye failed as the matter was withdrawn from his court and re-assigned to Dada.
But on arrival at Dada’s courtroom on Wednesday, the parties found that the case was not listed on the cause list
The court’s registrar, however, informed parties that the case file had been returned to the administrative judge for re-assignment to another judge to preside on.
Both defendants and their counsels were present in court.
Counsel to the EFCC Mr Ekene Iheanacho expressed disappointment on the development, saying: “this matter suffered a similar set back when it was assigned to Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye.”