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Alleged corruption: Court varies bail conditions of judge, SAN

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Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia

Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia

Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court Ikeja on Thursday varied a bail condition granted Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Godwin Obla, who are facing corruption charges.The duo were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Nov. 21, on 30 counts

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were each granted a N20 million bail on self-recognisance.However, due to her inability to meet the bail conditions, Ajumogobia filed an application before the court, praying it to vary the bail conditions.
Thus, on Thursday, the judge varied the bail conditions, after entertaining arguments from counsel to both parties.

Oshodi held that he exercised his discretionary powers in favour of the two accused in view of the fact that the EFCC did not raise any objection to the application.

The judge therefore granted the request of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, alongside Obla’s to perfect a N20 million bail bond with the Chief Registrar of the Lagos State High Court instead of a cash deposit of the sum.Oshodi ordered the accused to depose to an affidavit of means.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obla was charged with offering gratification in the sum of N5 million to Ofili-Ajumogobia during her service as a judge.

Similarly, Ofili-Ajumogobia is facing a 26-count charge of unlawful enrichment, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

According to the EFCC, Obla, on May 21, 2015, intentionally transferred N5 million to Ofili-Ajumogobia via his Obla and Co United Bank of Africa (UBA) account number: 1015319084 in order to refrain her from acting in her official duties.

The anti-graft agency alleged that Ofili-Ajumogobia, while serving as a Justice of the Federal High Court, on June 5, 2012, unlawfully received N18 million through her Access bank account.

The EFCC stated that she could not give a reasonable account of the sum.The EFCC said that from 2012 to 2015, Ofili-Ajumogobia also received 788,000 dollars from various sources into her Diamond bank account number: 0032091183.

According to the commission, Ofili-Ajumogobia also received N51.1 million into the Diamond ank account from various sources which did not reflect her source of income as a judge.

The EFCC also claimed that from July to Dec. 30, 2010, Ofili-Ajumogobia forged a deed of assignment between County City Bricks Development Co Limited and Nigel and Clove Ltd.

The commission said thst the forged deed dated July 5, 2010, was purportedly prepared and signed by Charles Musa and Co.The anti-graft agency added that on Oct.19, the judge made a false statement through a phone call to one Lawal Abdullahi, an officer of the EFCC, when she claimed she was on admission at the Goldcross Hospital, Ikoyi.

The EFCC said the offences contravenedvSection 39 (2)(a) of the EFCC Act, Sections 64 (1), 82 (a), 97(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, and Section 467 of the Criminal Code.


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EFCCRita Ofili-Ajumogobia

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