The trial of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia continued on Monday with a detailed testimony of an official of Diamond Bank Plc, Ademola Oshodi, of how he helped wire $120,000 for the learned Justice to a company in the United Kingdom named Silver Steps Incorporated.
Testifying before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, the banker said he picked up the cash from Ofili-Ajumogobia’s chambers on May 10, 2013 and helped the judge to send the money to the UK company at different times in 12 days, paying $10,000 each day.
According to Oshodi, the reason for the split was because the bank has a daily maximum deposit of $10,000. He went further to buttress that the bulk of the $120,000 was kept in the custody of Diamond Bank till May 30, 2013, when the last $10,000 was sent.
Oshodi said, “I filled the tellers for the transactions on behalf of Honourable Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia. I wrote the name of Honourable Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia as the payee on the tellers.”
The testimony was before Justice Hakeem Oshodi, in respect to the trial of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Godwin Obla, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged bribery and unlawful enrichment.
EFCC had arraigned Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and the Obla on 30 counts on November 28, 2016.
The anti-graft commission alleged that Obla, while appearing in a suit number FHC/L/C/482c/2010 before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, offered a gratification of N5 million to the judge to allegedly induce the judge to refrain from acting in the exercise of her official duties as a public official.
It also accused Ofili-Ajumogobia of receiving a total of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015 “so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income.”
The commission said the judge and the SAN acted contrary to sections 64 (1) and 97 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011.
However, they pleaded not guilty to the offences after which they were granted bail by Justice Oshodi on self-recognisance.
Despite vigorous effort to have the trial halted by Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN), the trial, however, continued on Monday.
RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears