From: Lukman Olabiyi
Justice Adedayo Akintoye of the Lagos State High Court, sitting at Igbosere, has excused herself from the trial of a fellow judge, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, who was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with unlawful enrichment to the tune of $260,000 and N8,650,000.
Justice Akintoye said her decision to withdraw from the case was based on a petition written by the embattled Justice Nganjiwa, asking that his case be transferred to another judge, for fear of bias.
Justice Nganjiwa, who is attached to the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court, was arraigned on 14 counts before by EFCC on June 23 .
In the charges, the EFCC accused him of unlawfully enriching himself as a public official by allegedly receiving a total of $260,000 and N8.65m through his bank account between 2013 and 2015.
EFCC claimed that the judge could not explain the source of the funds, adding that he acted contrary to Section 82(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011.
Justice Nganjiwa was also accused of giving false information to operatives of the EFCC, which, the prosecution said, amounted to an offence under Section 39(2) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2014.
But the accused judge denied all the allegations.
In a petition written against Justice Akintoye to the Chief Judge, Justice Nganjiwa urged Justice Oke to order Justice Akintoye to step aside on his case over alleged bias or the court should dismiss the charge which he said constitute double jeopardy against him.