An Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos, yesterday discharged an embattled Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Yinusa, accused of receiving bribe from two Senior lawyers while serving as a public officer.
The discharge of the embattled judge was sequel to the application of the Defence Counsel, John Odubela, SAN, who sort the leave of court to strike out the criminal charges against the defendant, who has been reinstated as judicial officer.
Odubela informed the court that the National Judicial Council (NJC) in a letter, which was tendered as Exhibit and dated December 29, 2020, lifted the suspension on Justice Yinusa.
The embattled judge was standing trial alongside a staff at the firm of Rickey Tarfa & Co., one Esther Agbor, who was accused of paying N1.5 million into Yinusa’s account.
Both defendants had pleaded not guilty to an amended nine-count charge bothering on attempt to pervert course of justice, corruption by public official, use of office or position for gratification in the sum of N2,250,000 million.
It could be recalled that in 2016, the National Judicial Council, NJC, had recommended the retirement of Justice Yinusa but President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to act on this recommendation and Justice Yinusa has instituted moves to get the NJC to reconsider this decision.
However, Justice Sherifat Solebo, in a short ruling, struck out the corruption charges against the embattled judge following the submission of the defence Counsel and in accordance to the letter of reinstatement and lifting of Yinusa’s suspension as a judge by the NJC.
Justice Solebo noted that since the defendant has been reinstated back into the bench, as a judge, he is immune from any criminal proceedings.