EFCC arraigns Justice Ajumogobia, Obla over alleged bribery
Accused persons get bail
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, alongside Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), before the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja over alleged bribery.
Specifically, the duo are facing trial before Justice Hakeem Oshodi on a 30-count charge bordering on alleged perversion of the course of justice, and unlawful enrichment and forgery. They pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that the defendants allegedly committed the offences on May 21, 2015 when they conspired to pervert the course of justice with N5 million.
EFCC said the money was transferred to one Nigel & Colive Ltd and claimed that Justice Ajumogobia is the sole signatory to the Nigel & Colive Ltd. The agency said both defendants conspired to commit the crimes in contravention of the provisions of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
In counts one to four, Obla is being accused of offering gratification in the said sum, by transferring the money from his company’s account, Obla & Co., domiciled with the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to Nigel & Colive. The transfer, according to the charge, was made so as to restrain a public officer from acting in exercise of her official duties.
In count five, the EFCC alleges that Justice Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court unlawfully enriched herself by receiving a transfer of N18 million from one Arkleem Oil and Gas Ltd. to her Diamond Bank account.
In counts 6 to 20, Justice Ajumogobia is being accused of receiving transfer of monies from various outlets to her Diamond Bank account to the tune of over $788,000.
It is also being alleged that the judge forged a deed of assignment between a company, County City Bricks Dev. Co. Ltd and Nigel & Colive Ltd and also made a false statement to the EFCC that she was on admission at one Gold Cross Hospital located at Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to the EFCC, the offences are contrary to Section 69, 82 (a) 97(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No 11,2011 and Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
Making false information to an officer of the anti-graft agency is said to be contrary to section 39 (2)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (establishment) Act, Justice Oshodi granted the accused persons bail on self-recognition but ordered them to deposit N20 million each in the account of the court’s chief registrar.
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