A Lagos lawyer, Taiwo Oreagba, is to spend the next 24 months behind bars for accepting a N4 million bribe.
The verdict was given on Friday by the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo found the woman, Oreagba, guilty of representing “Am I a Yahoo boy?” singer, Naira Marley in court.
Persecondnews reports that during the two-year trial, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Oreagba for the offence on November 12, 2020, before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offenses Court in Ikeja.
She, however, denied the offences of corruptly demanding and acquiring the N4 million under false pretences
One Henry Umoh had paid Oreagba, counsel to one Kelechi Uka, who was the subject of an EFCC investigation N4m to “sway EFCC officials into securing Uka’s release.”
A Lagos High Court had tried Uka for theft.
Oreagba was charged with committing the crime in Lagos on or around March 2, 2020, while serving as Umoh’s attorney.
At a point, Justice Solebo withdrew from the case during the trial and it was returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment.
Justice Taiwo was then given the case and in October 2022, Oreagba was re-arrested on the two counts, and the trial before Justice Taiwo began.
The defence summoned five witnesses, and the prosecution played an audio tape in which the defendant boasted that she could give her clients a smooth exit by providing EFCC agents Sini Oma John, Femi Olukinni, and their team part of the N4,000,000 to influence the agents.
Umoh described how Oreagba persuaded him to part with the cash throughout the trial, adding that she never gave a receipt.
Umoh who testified as Prosecution Witness (PW) 2 testified that the money the defendant allegedly demanded from him was not her professional fees, but the money she purported would be given and was given to EFCC officers.
Oreagba mentioned Sini Oma John and Femi Olukinni in the audio, but both women denied discussing Uka’s soft landing with Oreagba.
In addition, they insisted that they didn’t get any money from her, despite what Oreagba said in the audio recording.
The defence, led by Mahmood Adesina (SAN), made a “no case” submission after the prosecution concluded its case, claiming that the funds were Oreagba’s professional expenses.
In her ruling, Justice Taiwo noted that Oreagba did not object to the recording’s content and jailed Oreagba two years for corruptly demanding the sum.
However, Justice Taiwo offered Oreagba the choice of an N500,000 fine after noting that the convicted party had returned the N4 million to her victim.
On the second count charge of obtaining money under false pretences, the judge discharged Oreagba.
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