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Banire Steps Down as APC Legal Adviser over Bribery Allegations


The National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), has stepped down following bribery allegations.
Banire is being the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for giving N500,000 to a judge
In a letter dated November 8, 2016 which he wrote to the APC National Executive Committee through the National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, and copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Banire said he was stepping down pending the outcome of the EFCC investigation.
He said he was doing so in the interest of the image of the party.
Earlier, he has denied media reports claiming he had been quizzed by the EFCC for transferring N500,000 into a Judges bank account.
In a statement he issued on Sunday, Banire said he was neither arrested nor invited by the EFCC. He said he voluntarily visited the Commission to assist in their investigation of the matter.
“I did not give any bribe of the sum of N500,000 or any amount to any judge at any time whatsoever,” said Mr. Banire, a former commissioner in Lagos State.
“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 17 years until probably three years ago when he solicited for my financial assistance towards his mother’s burial.”
Media reports over the past few days had placed Banire, a former lecturer at the University of Lagos, among those involved in bribing of judges.
Following the arrest of some Judges last month by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) the EFCC had launched a massive investigation into allegations of bribery of judges by some senior lawyers.
Banire allegedly transferred N500, 000 into the bank account of James Agbadu-Fishim, a judge at the National Industrial Court.
Agbadu-Fishim was among the Judges who reported to the Lagos office of the EFCC on October 19 to write statements on the findings.
According to Banire, “I have never taken any benefit from the said recipient of my generosity and have never expected any 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.
“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”, he said.

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