The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied the claim that one of its lawyers was at the residence of a judge of the federal high court in Ibadan to influence an ongoing trial.
In a statement on Sunday, the commission said though the counsel identified as Sanusi Galadanchi was at the house of Joyce Abdulmalik, he did not know it was the judge’s residence.
The news broke when Abdulmalik reportedly scolded Galadanchi during one of the court sittings, for visiting her residence “with the intent of influencing her decision in a case pending before her”.
Following the outburst, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) tackled the EFCC, describing it as “one of the agents of state trying to destroy the judiciary”.
But in the statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, its spokesman, the EFCC denied the judge’s claim and said it would “gladly” assist the NBA to investigate the circumstances that led to the outburst.
Uwujaren said the lawyer was only “led there (to the judge’s house) by love” as he had accompanied his fiancé to see her uncle who unknown to him is the judge’s husband.
The statement read: “According to the counsel, he had accompanied his fiancé, a P.hD candidate from the Ahmadu Bello University to meet with her uncle who unknown to him is the husband of Justice AbdulMalik. According to him, himself and his partner had already arrived the premises of his Lordship when he sighted a vehicle with a Federal High Court registration number, and he immediately indicated a desire to leave.
“Unfortunately, their host, Justice AbdulMalik’s husband who had been expecting them was already at the doorway and prevailed on him to stay. He recalls that when his Lordship came into the living room and saw him, she expressed her displeasure and left for another living room.
“He noted that after the meeting, his fiancé’s uncle led them to meet Justice AbulMalik where she sat and Galadanchi apologised to her for his innocent presence in her home and she accepted the apology. It was therefore shocking that his Lordship waited until three months after to raise the visit in an open court.
“What is clear from the facts as established, is that Galadanchi didn’t go to the home of Justice AbdulMalik to solicit for conviction of any defendant, neither was he there to discuss cases he is prosecuting. He was led there by love, which exist between him and Justice AbdulMalik’s sister-in-law.”