Activists Reject "Ibori Judge" Awokulehin Handling Former Nassarawa Governor's Corruption Case-PREMIUM TIMES

Justice Marcel Awokulehin
By Idris Akinbajo

Civil Society Organisations say Justice Marcel Awokulehin does not have the moral pedigree to preside over any other corruption case.

A judge whom civil society groups say has "brought so much shame to Nigeria" is to decide whether Aliyu Akwe-Doma, former Governor of Nassarawa state corruptly enriched himself to the tune of 15bn naira.

Marcel Awokulehin, presiding judge of a Federal High Court in Nassarawa state on Monday listened to arguments on whether or not charges filed against the former by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be quashed.

In defending his client, counsel to the former Governor, Charles Edosonwan, stated that "this is a criminal proceeding that ought not to proceed." The basis for this submission by Mr. Edosonwan was a previous ruling by Mr. Awokulehin.

The Ibori freedom

Three years ago, Mr. Awokulehin, while presiding over a case instituted by the EFCC against James Ibori, a former Governor of Delta state, quashed the 170-count corruption charges filed against the governor. Mr. Awokulehin ruled that Mr. Ibori had no case to answer.

Mr. Ibori, governor of Delta state from 1999 to 2007, had been indicted by the EFCC of stealing and appropriating state funds to himself and also putting such funds in foreign accounts. In order to prevent his exposure, the former governor allegedly offered a cash bribe of $15million to Nuhu Ribadu, the then Chairman of the EFCC, for his case to be dropped. The commission however continued its investigations which led to the filing of charges against Mr. Ibori.

Despite being freed by Justice Awokulehin, Mr. Ibori, in February, pleaded guilty to stealing state funds and laundering them to the UK. He has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a court in the UK.

It is this previous ruling by Mr. Awokulehin that Mr. Edosonwan is relying on as a precedent for his client to be freed, a move which was opposed by the EFCC.

He has no moral right to continue

Civil society groups and lawyers have condemned the judiciary and Mr. Awokulehin for the latter's continuation in presiding over corruption cases.

"For them (the judiciary) to have allowed him (Mr. Awokulehin) to preside over corruption cases shows that the judiciary is not serious about fighting corruption," said Debo Adeniran, the coordinator of the Coalition against Corrupt leaders (CACOL), a civil society group.

Mr. Awokulehin who lamented that "Justice Awokulehin has brought so much shame" to Nigeria by the Ibori ruling lamented the continuous presence of the judge on the bench.

"When it became clear to everybody that Marcel Awokulehin was a corrupt judge, we expected the NJC to query Awokulehin, de-robe him if possible, and to sanction him accordingly," Mr. Adeniran, whose group had petitioned the NJC, said.

Mr. Adeniran's view was similar to that of another civil society organisation, the Human and Environmental Development agenda (HEDA) who condemned the continuous presence of Mr. Awokulehin in the Nigerian judiciary.

"Justice Marcel Awokulehin should not only be suspended from presiding over corruption related cases but in all judicial matters," said Suraju Olanrewaju, who heads HEDA.

"The country suffered unprecedented international ignominy as a result of his ludicrous and highly compromised judgement in Iborigate case," Ms. Olarenwaju said.

Excuse the Judge

Lagos based lawyer Jiti Ogunye, believes the EFCC should have demanded that Mr. Awokulehin excuse himself from the case.

"Should the judge, given his precedence, given his pedigree, be allowed to be taking EFCC cases again," Mr. Ogunye queried.

"Even if Governor Doma is freed on his merit, what will the ordinary Nigerian think? It is in the interest of the judge, the EFCC, or the Nigerian Government that the judge continues with the case," the lawyer stated.

Mr. Ogunye's view was shared by the HEDA leader.

"I think the current leadership of EFCC is obligated to demand integrity and dignity from Judges presiding over its cases. Lawyers prosecuting this matter are in a position to have requested the trial Judge transfer the matter to another Judge or petition the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court," Mr. Suraju said.

While Mr. Awokulehin has adjourned the suit to June 11, there seems to be an agreement among civil society groups that justice might not be served in the case.

"Justice and fair trial are under threat in matters involving a Judge with questionable antecedence," Mr. Suraju said.

 
 

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HOLY MOSES!

Is Mr Marcel Awokulehin still a judge in Nigeria? Holy Moses! this country is finshed.

Delebrate

Knowing antecedent they delebrately assign the case to him to frustrate.

Shameless judge!

There is no shame again in Nigeria. Otherwise, the useless judge wud av put in his resignatn letter. A good name is better than gold. What a shameless man.

Many loose ends

Is it possible that this so called "corrupt" judge discharged ibori based on the evidence b4 him? Is it possible that EFCC officials delibrately excluded incriminating evidence in order to set ibori free? Is it possible that the prosecuting lawyer was bribed to give ibori a soft landin? Is it possible that the head of EFCC Was bribeb? The reason why most corrupt people go free is because the whole system is corrupted not just the judges as speculated by the writer above. It is not enough to charge any corrupt person to court, u must have substantial evidence to nail him/her.

RE JUSTICE AWOKULEYIN AND CORRUPT PRACTICES

I have said it before, and I will say it again, the Federal Government led by Jonathan is not serious with it claim to fight corruption. Why, because, its hands are deeply entrenched in corrupt practices. The judiciary is not spared, and I dare say that Judicial Advisory Council as presently constituted, is to say the least, a complete disappointment. Otherwise, how do you explain its decision to allow Justice Awokuleyin to continue to preside over judicial matters, in view of his dismal failure as a judge. Where and how would he react to the turn of events, in that the rogue Ibori whom he cleared from corruption charges, personally confessed to committing the same act? Or did the court that tried Ibori in London possessed facts different from those presented to Awokuleyin. If the truth be told, Nigerians are disappointed with the crop of its present leaders, wether in the National Assembly, Executive or the Judiciary. The struggle has just begun.

RE JUSTICE AWOKULEYIN

I have said it before, and I will say it again, the Federal Government led by Jonathan is not serious with it claim to fight corruption. Why, because, its hands are deeply entrenched in corrupt practices. The judiciary is not spared, and I dare say that Judicial Advisory Council as presently constituted, is to say the least, a complete disappointment. Otherwise, how do you explain its decision to allow Justice Awokuleyin to continue to preside over judicial matters, in view of his dismal failure as a judge. Where and how would he react to the turn of events, in that the rogue Ibori whom he cleared from corruption charges, personally confessed to committing the same act? Or did the court that tried Ibori in London possessed facts different from those presented to Awokuleyin. If the truth be told, Nigerians are disappointed with the crop of its present leaders, wether in the National Assembly, Executive or the Judiciary. The struggle has just begun.

Is He Still Presiding?

I thought Awokulehin made enough money from Ibori to quit the bench.  What is he still doing there?  Why is this man retained by the NJC to preside over corrupt cases.  This is a sad commentary on our judiciary.  A sad commentary indeed.

Shhot At Sight

Enough of this impunity with justice and corruption which to an inform mind is now everywhere. The EFFC as prosecutors and the judiciary as an arbiter. The solution is a targeted peoples justice where anyone from the prosecuting, the legislative, the judicial and the government arm of governance found wanting is eliminated.

money

this is what money can do to people that need it in all cost

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Awokulehin Handling Former Nassarawa Governor's Corruption Case

The Millionaire Judge

Cash & Carry Justice Marcel

Cash & Carry Justice Marcel Awokunlehin is one of the Consultants on Legal Matters to Governor Godswill akpabio. Akpabio is the person that introduced Ibori to the man. By that time, IBORI, AKPABIO, SYLVIA were working together. Nigeria is finished. It a shame. President Jona does not see this as improper to allow Awokunlehin to continue to remain on the bench.
It was good that OBJ indicted the President three days ago when he said he sacked Cash & Carry Judges during his Presidency. Godswill Akpabio has been indicting Mr. Jona in recent times when at Warri he (Godswill) said Jona's government was performing @ 10%. At the SILVERBIRD AWARD night last month, he said that any govt that spends 80% of its budget on recurrent is a useless govt. That his govt spends 86% on cap projects. PDP & PRESIDENCY have kept mute 'cause it's their family talk. Chei!!! 9ja!

SHAMELESS GOVERNMENT

The shameless government of Nigeria shows what they are by their actions.The disgraceful judge that presided over the kangaroo court set up by IBORI and the judge appointed by the PDP is still being retained to continue the damage to the integrity of Nigerian judiciary.Upon the open disgrace his verdict brought to the judiciary he is retained while an upright judge like Salami is not wanted.What a shameless,visionless and unpopular government GEJ and the PDP are runing.They are all VIP:Vagabonds In Power!

Justice Marcel Awokulehin

Is Justice Marcel Awokulehin - Ibori Judge still in service and National Judicial Council is watching this high treason?

Awokulehin is an animal.

Awokulehin is an animal.

(IN)JUSTICE MARCEL AWOKULEHIN

IF MARCEL IS SMART, HE WILL USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE US WRONG BY BOUNCING BACK POWERFULLY.
IF HE IS NOT;HE COULD RETAIN HIS 'ERRAND BOY' STATUS AND REMIT THIER SHARE OF THE LOOT TO HIS HIGHER MENTORS ON THE BENCH WHO SAW NOTHING BAD IN THIER 'GOOD BOY'.

Corrupt judge

The evil that men live with them & after them. This judge should be ashamed of himself. Imagine him been rejected bcos of greed. This is only the begining. Very soon he will be stoned in public. The money he ate from Delta state will haunt him all the days of his life. Thief, oji, ole, oniochi, barawo.

Naija don finish!

Waiting for another "in your face Ghana must go " verdict.

DONT BLAME THE JUDGE,BLAME OUR CORRUPT ESTABLISHMENT.

The political establishment in Nigeria is massively corrupt and protects one of its own.This Judge would have been investigated and made to answer some vital questions regarding his ruling on the Ibori case.But what we have witnessed is the Attorney General chipping in a word or two in defence of the verdict which gave Ibori a clean bill of political health to continue his looting till his luck ran out in far away UK.This Justice will continue to play his ignoble role and we cannot stop him because he knows he has the backing of the powers that be in Nigeria.
Nigeria must not have one political party in monopoly if the image of our judiciary is to be redeemed,The PDP has to be checked.

Corruption in naija

This is absolute unoriented malicious judgement to whm ever judge who wil precised over a corruption case an yet quanch it down without reliable an through investigation 2 all facts presented in order 2 bring d accused 2 book..Naija we now seek an pray 4a corrupt free nation..Wit a strong law 2 deal wit all classes of pple...So disagree 2dis judge judgement an should not b allowed 2 continue in the corruption..Bcs many rats wil b set free under his judgement..

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