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    Shocking: N632.2m Discovered In Suspended Chief Judge’s Account


    SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, (THEWILL) – There are indications that detectives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have traced over N632.2million to the account of former Enugu State Chief Judge, Innocent Azubuike Umezulike.

    THEWILL recalls that Umezulike was retired based on a recommendation by the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for delivering judgment in a case 126 days after final addresses were adopted by parties, and for other instances of abuse of office.

    The council also found him guilty of allegedly receiving a donation of N10m from a businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, during his book launch while two cases, in which Eze was said to have had vested interest, were in the judge’s court.

    This led to a probe of the retired justice, by EFCC operatives, leading to the discovery of the huge sum in his account paid in by lawyers, businessmen, politicians and litigants.

    From the probe of the salary account of the judge with the main branch of First Bank Plc in Enugu, it was discovered that he was operating it without a BVN as at June 2016.

    Although he was earning N701, 726. 28 per month, he did not make any single withdrawal for 11 months. When the account was analysed, the turnover was about N396, 544.034.73 with a closing balance of N632.223.47 as at 15th of June 2016 while he invested heavily in treasury bills.

    The detectives also uncovered three properties allocated to the ex-CJ by the Enugu State Government. These are:

    Plot H/136 Golf Phase II, Enugu allocated in 2000 but sold to Mr. J.I. Chime in 2007 who subsequently sold it to Cosmas Offia in 2008;

    Block B2 Flat 16 Maryland Estate, Enugu allocated in 2012 Sold to Igwe Goddy Moore; and

    Plot H/88 Gold Estate Phase I, GRA Enugu allocated in 2015 which is still in the judge’s possession.

    There were indications that some assets identified with the judge might be seized by the EFCC, pending the conclusion of its investigation – in line with sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 while Justice Umezulike is likely to report to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC.

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