On Friday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja High Court in Lagos sentenced Taiwo Oreagba, a former attorney for Naira Marley, to two years in jail for accepting an N4 million bribe.
After a two-year trial, Justice Taiwo found Oreagba guilty. Oreagba previously defended “Am I a Yahoo boy?” singer Naira Marley in his continuing alleged online crime-related case.
The court said that Oreagba had not refuted the information included in a voice recording in which she was heard boasting about using N4 million to bribe members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in exchange for a smooth exit for her client.
For the crime of corrupt demand by a person, the court jailed Oreagba for two years.
However, Justice Taiwo offered Oreagba the choice of an N500,000 fine after observing that the convicted party had returned the N4 million to her victim.
On the second offense of obtaining money under false pretense, the court released Oreagba.
Justice Taiwo denounced the convict’s assertion that she could influence judges assigned to cases in the Lagos State Judiciary as well as law enforcement officials.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) first presented Oreagba for the alleged offense on November 12, 2020, before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Special Offenses Court in Ikeja, Lagos.
To a two-count charge involving an alleged corrupt demand and acquiring the N4m under false pretense, she entered a not guilty plea.
At the time, it was said that Henry Umoh paid Oreagba counsel for one Kelechi Uka, who was the subject of an EFCC investigation, N4m in order to sway EFCC officials into securing Uka’s release.
The Lagos State High Court is hearing the case of Uka for theft-related offenses.
Oreagba was charged with committing the crime in Lagos on or around March 2, 2020, while serving as Umoh’s attorney.
The trial started after the defendant entered a plea, at which point she was given bail.
However, Justice Solebo withdrew from the case during the trial and it was returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment.
Justice Taiwo was then given the case.
In October 2022, Oreagba was re-arrested on the two charges, and the trial before Justice Taiwo began.
The defense summoned five witnesses, and the prosecution played an audio tape in which the defendant boasted that she could provide her clients a smooth exit by providing EFCC agents Sini Oma John, Femi Olukinni, and their team some of the N4,000,000 to influence the agents.
They said that the EFCC is bringing charges against Kelechi Uka in the Ikeja High Court.
Umoh described how Oreagba persuaded him to part with the cash throughout the trial. He said that she never gave a receipt.
Umoh, a prosecution witness (PW) 2, said that the money the defendant reportedly requested from him was not for her professional fees but rather for money she allegedly promised to send to EFCC agents, which was really handed to them.
Oreagba named Sini Oma John and Femi Olukinni on the tape, but both women denied discussing Uka’s gentle landing with Oreagba.
In addition, they stated that they didn’t get any money from her, despite what Oreagba said in the audio clip.