By Babajide Okeowo
The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the conviction and 30 days sentencing of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr. Joseph Nwobike in the attempt to pervert the course of justice case.
The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision of the five-member panel led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, faulted the earlier decisions of the Lagos High Court and the Court of Appeal, Lagos, and proceeded to uphold Nwobike’s appeal.
It held among others that the High Court of Lagos was wrong in convicting Nwobike on the offense, while the Court of Appeal erred in upholding his conviction and sentencing on the offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The apex court noted that Section 97(c) of Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State, under which he was charged, did not clearly define what constitutes perversion of justice.
It added that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) lacks the power to investigate and prosecute the offence of perversion of the course of justice.
The EFCC, through its counsel Rotimi Oyedepo had, among others, accused him of exchanging SMS with a court’s Registrar on the assignment of his cases and when such cases should be heard.