N5m Bribery: How Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia used address of uncompleted building to open a corporate account – Witness
A star prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of suspended Federal High Court Judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla (SAN) on Monday narrated before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja how the judge used address of an uncompleted building to open a corporate account for her company, Nigel and Colive.
The witness, Adewale Oshodi is an employee of Diamond Bank Plc.
He told the court that though the bank discovered this fact, it still opened the account for the judge in good faith because of her position as a Federal High Court judge.
The EFCC had arraigned Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla on a 30-count charge of conspiracy to pervert justice by allegedly giving and receiving a bribe of N5 million.
The EFCC had also alleged that about $793,800 passed through the Justice Ajumogobia’s domiciliary accounts between 2012 and 2015 and that she allegedly used the money to buy a house in London.
The two accounts, Access Bank (0002649223) and Diamond Bank (0032091183) have since been frozen by the EFCC.
Five of the charges are centered on an alleged N4m bribe given to the judge by the senior advocate while the remaining 26 charges are on the huge amounts that passed through the accounts of Ofili-Ajumogobia and her alleged inability to explain her source of wealth.
The other charges filed against the judge border on forgery, lying, unlawful enrichment and other related offences.
They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Oshodi, who claimed he was the account officer to the judge, also told the court that Justice Ajumogobia had approached Diamond Bank requesting that a Corporate account be opened for the company.
The witness also said, “For opening the corporate account, it was mandatory that we verify the address of the company. When we visited the address at 18, Layi Bende Street, Fajuyi Estate, we discovered that the building was still under construction.
” We opened the corporate account for the company in good faith because of the defendant’s position as a Federal High Court judge, and also because the property belongs to her,” Oshodi said.
The witness further told the court that as Ajumogobia’s account officer, he helped her manage her account, 00299288474, 003209118, domiciled in Diamond Bank.
Oshodi also testified that he made cash deposits in Ajumogobia’s accounts, shuttling between her chambers at Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, and her house.
The witness also recalled that sometimes in May, 2015 he collected $120,000 from Ajumogobia who directed him to deposit $10,000 weekly in her dollar account for a period of twelve weeks..
He also recalled that Ajumogobia also sent one Alhaji with $20,000 to help deposit in her account.
“She normally calls me if she needs assistance in converting naira to dollar. I either go her chambers or her house to pick up the cash.
” I also fill the bank tellers on her behalf and the money would be credited to her account. On May 3, 2015, she gave me $10,000 in her office which I helped transfer to a company, Silver Steps Incorporated in the UK,” he said.
Earlier before the witness was led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to Ajumogobia, Olawale Akonni SAN had asked for an adjournment, informing the court of a pending application asking the EFCC to provide some documents in relation to the case.
“My Lord we need to have those documents in order to have a clearer picture of the whole case, Akonni argued.
The trial Judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi however adjourned the matter till January 30, for continuation of trial and hearing of the pending application.