One of the senior lawyers being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC, for allegedly bribing judges, Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, has said that he gave the sum of N450.000 as a gift to Justice James Agbadu-Fishim, noting that the money which was given in two installments was a gift.
Disclosing this to newmen, an EFCC source, who was privy to the statement the lawyer made to the commission, said the funds were paid into the judge’s account when he was traveling for a long vacation in August 2014 and during the burial of a relative of the latter in 2015.
The accused, who was said to have been questioned by the commission on October 27, 2016, further informed the commission that he had never appeared before the judge, who is of the National Industrial Court, NIC. In addition, the source quoted Usoro to have told the commission that he knew Justice Agbadu-Fishim well before he was elevated to the Bench when he was in the telecommunications subsector.
Continuing, Usoro was said to have claimed in the statement that apart from Agbadu-Fishim and Justice Kanyip J, he had no relationship with any NIC judge. On Justice Kanyip, the source said, Usoro claimed to have known him when the latter called to correct him on statements made in a presentation on NIC, some years back to Judges of the Federal High Court.
The source, however, said Usoro in his statement said his law firm had 32 pending and eight concluded matters before the NIC, adding that he does not personally supervise any of the NIC matters being handled by his firm.