Alleged judges’ bribery: I’m still an anti-corruption crusader, says Banire

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The National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), says he is still an anti-corruption crusader despite the allegations that he bribed a Federal High Court judge, Justice Terseer Fishim.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Thursday quizzed Banire for allegedly paying N500,000 into the bank account of the judge in 2013.

In a fresh press release on Saturday, Banire, said he never bribed anybody.

Banire maintained that he is still an anti-corruption crusader and urged his supporters not to be distracted by the ‘noise’.

He added, “I am a strong advocate of anti-corruption campaign and will never descend into the insanity of offering bribe to pervert the course of justice. It is my strong conviction that the just shall live by faith and this passing phase shall soon give way to the triumph of the uncompromising truth. This development rather strengthens my resolve to continue to uphold my ideals and principles.”

The APC chieftain said he only gave money to a friend who coincidentally happened to be a judge.

He said the money was not a bribe but for the burial of the judge’s mother

Banire said, “I did not give any bribe of the sum of N500,000 or any other amount to any Judge at any time whatsoever. The person to whom I gave a gift of N500,000 in 2013 was a former colleague in the academia, a fellow lawyer whom I now understand to be a judge with whom I had lost physical contact for more than seventeen years save for telephone conversation about probably three years ago when he solicited for my financial assistance towards his mother’s burial.

“I had not physically seen the said judge in the past 17 years or more until Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the EFCC premises; I have never appeared before the said judge either as a lawyer or as a litigant.

“I have never taken any benefit from the said recipient of my generosity and have never expected any benefit in return. The occasion of the gift was purely customary for the purpose of assisting in the burial of his deceased mother.

“I must say this kind of assistance is not peculiar to this old colleague but that which is the nature of my usual disposition to all colleagues, associations, students, clubs, religious bodies and humanity in general.”

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