Senator representing the Bayelsa East constituency at the upper Chambers of the National Assembly, Ben Bruce on Thursday described the bribery scandal involving Kola Awodein, SAN, a lawyer to President Muhammadu Buhari as image plummeting for the nation’s number one citizen.
A prosecution witness in the on-going trial of the suspended high court judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola had revealed that Kola Awodein (SAN) who was one of the lead counsel to President Buhari had offered a sum of N500,000 to Justice Ademola during the wedding of one of her daughters recently at a time a lawsuit challenging the eligibility of Buhari was on-going before justice Ademola.
Awodein had though confirmed that indeed he offered Justice Ademola the N500,000 gift as a long tome friend of the judge and not at the behest of Buhari in one breadth, he had, in another breadth, described the allegation as “malicious, utterly ridiculous, and revolting”.
He said: “I have known as a friend and for well over 35 years Mr. Justice Niyi Ademola, a notorious fact known to majority of lawyers who have practiced especially in Lagos for over that same period more or less and also to so many other professionals of other disciplines and other prominent and not so prominent Nigerians.
“It is a fact that the sum of money mentioned was personally paid by me as a friend to Mr. Justice Ademola as a personal gift, as our custom well recognizes and demands, on the occasion of his daughter’s High Society wedding solemnized at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on the 9th of May 2015, which I attended in person.”
But Bruce stated that the gift and the N200m allegedly spent by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had damaged Buhari more than the opposition.
On Thursday, Murray-Bruce tweeted that “The so-called ‘gift’ to Justice Adeniyi Ademola by PMB’s lawyer and the SGF’s grass cutter contract have damaged him far more than the opposition!”
The Senate had called for Lawal’s removal following interim report of its ad-hoc committee on humanitarian crisis in the North-East, led by Shehu Sani.