Mr. Bode Omisina a litigation clerk in the law firm of Babalakin & Co. was brought before Magistrate Court 1, Ogba on Tuesday 27th November 2018 on allegation of conspiracy, forgery and stealing.
Mr. Bode Omisina’s Charge sheet read:
Count II – That you Bode Omisina and one other person now at large on the 10th day of July, 2018 at about 10am at the Fast Track Registry Lagos High Court Igbosere in the Lagos Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit a felony to wit forgery and stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 411 of the Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
Count II – That you Bode Omisina and one other person now at large on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did forge an Alphabeta Revenue receipt of Lagos State Judiciary valued at N5,000,000.00 and another Alphabeta Revenue receipt valued at N3,411,500.00 total value at N8,411,500.00 by tendering them at the Fast Track Registry of Lagos High Court in order to possess a summon and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 363 (1) of Criminal Law of Lagos of Nigeria 2015.
Count III – That you Bode Omisina “M” on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid Magisterial District did receive the sum of N250,000.00 from one MUSTAPHA ORIADE having known to be stolen and fraudulently converted same to your own use and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 280 (B) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
The Defendant pleaded not guilty to all count as his Counsel applied for bail on lenient grounds but the prosecution objected to bail based on the fact that the Defendant’s co-conspirator a Court official, one Mustapha Oriade had disappeared and is now wanted. The prosecution added that the Defendant if granted bail may also flee. The prosecution however requested for a speedy trial. The Defense counsel argued that the defendant will not jump bail as he was still in the employ of Babalakin and Co.
The Chief Magistrate; Mrs. Y. O. Aje Afunwa was however not satisfied with the submissions of the Defense counsel and remanded the Defendant but granted the request for a speedy trial. The case was therefore adjourned to the 10th and 12th of December 2018 respectively for trial.
The National Convener of Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary, Mr. Bayo Akinlade who held watching brief on behalf of the Judiciary said that he volunteered to hold watching brief because he will support the Judiciary in its fight against corruption within its ranks. “I volunteered because its not enough to just talk about this problem of corruption but we have to sacrifice our time and treasure to ensure that we reduce it to the barest minimum”.
The National Convener also hinted that he is concerned about the current method of payment and the insistence of the Executive to refuse the use of POS machines within the Court he said “I am disappointed in the position of the Executive arm of government who has resisted the use of POS machines for payment of court fees” Mr. Akinlade said “This case for instance is proof that there is fraud going on with the Alphabeta Receipts and this has to stop. The Judiciary has acquired POS machines and trained personnel to use it but is yet to get the approval of the Governor to use it. I ask the question; WHY?
Mr. Akinlade expressed his unflinching support for the Chief Judge of Lagos State and commends her lordship braveness in tackling the systemic corruption within the Judiciary.
When asked about how this anti-corruption drive will be sustained within the Judiciary, Mr. Akinlade said that the leadership of the Judiciary are united in this fight and the next Chief Judge will carry on the struggle until the Judiciary is cleansed.
Mr. Oriade is still at large and anyone with information concerning his whereabouts is encouraged to notify the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Lagos. In the meantime; FIACIJ members are watching and will report all acts of corrupt practices within the Judiciary as lawyers are advised to desist from offering bribes and reporting court officials who demand for bribes.