COUNSEL to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wahab Shittu on Friday revealed that twenty witnesses are billed to testify against embattled Industrial Court Judge, Justice Agbadu James Fishim.
The EFCC had arraigned Justice Fishim before an Ikeja High Court for allegedly receiving N3.5m from seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Justice Fishim, who pleaded not guilty, was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on a 19-count charge of unlawful enrichment.
The agency maintained that he could not give a reasonable explanation of how the monies were passed through his First Bank account.
At Friday’s proceedings, the EFCC presented a witness, Solomon Akhanolu, a Forensics Officer with FirstBank who gave a detailed explanation of the transactions of Justice Fiahim’s three bank accounts domiciled with FirstBank.
Akhanolu, during cross-examination, went on to tell the court that he had worked with FirstBank for 8 years and his duties involved liaising with security agencies like the EFCC, the ICPC and the police.
The witness further stated that specifically on the 13th of October 2016, he got a letter from the EFCC mandating him to produce mandate cards, BVN, the account opening packages of accounts numbers: 3008199491, 2006900216, 0009508696 all belonging to Justice Fishim.
“From the information generated from the inflow and outflow of the account it was a very active one,” Akhanolu said.
He went further to explain that between December 2013 and March 2015, there were regular deposits in the account.
“Sometimes in Aug 2014, one Paul Usoro made a cash deposit of N250,000 into one of the accounts. One Ugo Dabiri also deposited N250,000 into the account also around this period.
“One Gani Adetola Kazeem deposited N100,000 into the account, while one Uche Obi also deposited N150,000 into Justice Fishim’s account.
“On June 13 2014, Dr Muiz Banire also deposited N500,000 into Fiahim’s account while Joseph Nwobike also deposited N100,000 into one of the accounts,”Akhanolu revealed.
However, during cross-examination by Justice Fiahim’s counsel Kanu Agabi SAN, Akhanolu maintained that he was not the originator of the statement of accounts being tendered as evidence in the suit.
“They were generated from FirstBank’s computers and I am only here to explain them. I also do not know personally the people that deposited money into the accounts and also for what purpose,” he said.
While asking the court for an adjournment, Wahab Shittu (EFCC counsel) told the court that they had initially listed 16 witnesses to testify but that they have 4 more.
“My Lord we have at least 20 witnesses and we hope to have as many of the available at the next adjourned date,” Shittu said.
The presiding Judge, Justice Raliat Adebiyi subsequently granted an adjournment and thereafter adjourned the matter till November 23 for continuation of trial.
According to the charge sheet, the commission alleged that Justice Fishim received an aggregate of N3.5m from seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria, a Lagos-based lawyer and a law firm between 2013 and 2015.