Fraud: Nigerian judge, Justice Ademola seeks day-to-day trial as FG begs to amend charge

Justice Ademola and wifeA Federal High Court judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who is standing trial for alleged corruption, on Monday requested for an a day-to-day accelerated hearing into his on-going trial to enable him prove his innocence or otherwise and move on with his life.

The request came on a day the Federal Government came with an application to amend the charge preferred against the judge and his wife.

Counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Segun Jegede, told the court that he would want to join another key person who played a role in the alleged bribery charge preferred against the Ademola family.

The government said there was no way the court would do justice in the case without bringing in the defendant who is a prominent legal practitioner, Joe Agi (SAN).

The government consequently requested for a short adjournment to bring a neat and amended charge before the court.

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He said he should be able to bring the neat process before the court latest Tuesday.

Bar and Bench Watch reports that Mr. Ademola and his wife Olubowale were arraigned on an 11-count charge on December 13.

Ademola , it would be recalled, was among the seven Justices investigated after the sting operations carried out on Oct. 8 and 9 by the Department of State Security (DSS).

The duo were accused of committing acts of criminal conspiracy to receive gratification contrary to section 26 (1) (C) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, and punishable under the same section.

According to the first count of the charge, they allegedly conspired to collect gratification from a company, Joe Agi and Associates, belonging to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Agi, to the tune of N30 million, in March 2015.

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They were brought before justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

The trial Judge, Justice Jude Okeke granted them bail on December 13, after hearing the applications from their counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and Chief Roberts Clarke (SAN), respectively.

Okeke admitted them to bail in the sum of N50 million each and on self-recognition and ordered that they deposit their international passports pending the conclusion of the trial.

Mr. Ademola had approached the court on Monday with a fresh application for an accelerated hearing.

Such application, in Nigerian setting, usually comes from prosecution to enable it prove its case against the defendants.

But in this case, it is the defendants that are in a hurry to prove their innocence.

The application for accelerated hearing was granted by the trial judge.

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The matter was originally adjourned until Jan. 18, for trial.

But the judge, Justice Jude Okeke after hearing from both counsel and having granted the motion for abridgement of time adjourned to January 11 for plea and further arraignment in the event that the prosecution files a fresh charge.

He also adjourned till January 16, for the commencement of trial.