A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Niyi Akintola, has denied media reports that he bribed a judge of the National Industrial Court, Justice Terseer Fishim.
He was reacting to a report which included his name among the SANs and lawyers being quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for bribing judges.
In an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, Akintola said in all his practice years, his firm had only handled a case before the industrial court and lost it.
He said, “I was on my way to Benin when I heard about the report of my invitation by the EFCC. I had to abort my journey and went straight to the EFCC in Lagos.
“For record purpose, I have never been invited by the EFCC. When I got to their (EFCC) office, I was told to ignore the rumour that if they would invite me, they have a channel of doing that. I was told to go about my daily business.”
The former Deputy Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly admitted that the judge had been his friend of over 20 years and they had exchanged gifts in the past.
“The judge is my friend of over 20 years. I gave him N100,000 twice when he lost his parents as financial assistance. I did not even attend the events. He has also given me money twice: N50,000 (when I lost my mother in 2014) and another N25,000 when my daughter wedded. He attended the two events. It was a kind of exchange of gifts. I knew him when he was in University of Abuja.”
“I don’t practice in industrial court. In all my life I have only handled a case there once and we lost it. It was my colleague that appeared before the court.
“When the Sahara Reporter first broke the story, the media houses that reported it retracted the story. I never gave any bribe to any judge.”