Justice Raphael Chikwe Agbo, a senior justice of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal, passed away in Calabar on Monday. He was admitted to the Bar in 1978 and held the position of the second-ranking justice of the Court of Appeal.
Having been appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal in 2005, Justice Agbo was set to retire from his judicial role on October 21, 2023, after a distinguished career in the judiciary.
Notably, former Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi recently honored Justice Agbo by naming the Enugu State Multi-Door Courthouse after him, acknowledging his deserving recognition.
In what might be his final significant ruling, Justice Agbo led a Court of Appeal panel that upheld the conviction of Senator Bassey Akpan, the Young Progressives Party (YPP) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, on charges of money laundering. The court also ordered Akpan’s arrest.
However, the panel in Calabar modified the sentence by offering the appellant the option of a fine. “The court affirmed that the appellant must also repay the sum of N240 million to the federal government through the EFCC. This restitution, however, will not be a prerequisite for his release from the correctional facility,” stated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). “Furthermore, the court revoked Senator Akpan’s bail and issued an arrest warrant.”