A Banker, Ademola Oshodi on Monday testified at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos how he frequently moved foreign currency from the chambers of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia into her account in Diamond Bank.
Ofili-Ajumogobia, a judge of the Federal High Court and Godwin Obla, SAN, are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for corruption and perversion of the course of justice.
Ofili-Ajumogobia was charged with 26-counts of unlawful enrichment, corruption,forgery and giving false information to EFCC operative.
According to the charge, Ofili-Ajumogobia forged a deed of assignment between County City Bricks Development Co. Limited and Nigel & Colive Limited, dated July 5, 2010. The anti-graft commission alleged it was purportedly prepared and signed by Charles Musa & Co, an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.
In one of the counts 30, the judge was accused of giving false information to an operative of EFCC, Lawal Abdullahi, on October 19, 2016, when she claimed in a telephone conversation she was on admission at Gold Cross Hospital, Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, while she was not there. The offence is contrary to Section 39(2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
Obla was accused of giving N5million gratification to Ofili-Ajumogobia to pervert the course of justice.
The duo pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Commision said the judge got $788,000 from various sources which was deposited into her Diamond Bank Account by Oshodi .
Oshodi, a Branch Manager with Diamond Bank Plc, told the court that he met the judge at her chambers at the Federal High Court when he opened an account for her with the bank ,adding that he regularly visited her home and chambers to carry money usually in dollars to be deposited into her personal account .
“I used to meet the judge in her chambers and sometimes in her home, where I’d receive the foreign currency, which was U.S. dollars to deposit into her bank account”, Oshodi testified while being led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo,the EFCC counsel.
“I introduced one Abba Said, a Bureau de Change operative to her when there was a need to change the dollars to naira.
“This mostly happens when she was not comfortable with a particular transaction.
“There were instances where the deposits exceeded the maximum amount for an individual account, when such instances occur, I pay the maximum amount into her account.
“I then deposit the remaining cash into my account which is paid into her account in subsequent days,” Mr. Oshodi told the packed courtroom.
Olawole Akoni, counsel to Ofili-Ajumogobia, however, kicked when Oyedepo attempted to tender the judge’s account statements as evidence.Akoni sought for adjournment saying his client needed adequate time to defend herself because she had been in detention.
After standing down the case for about two hours,Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case to January 9, 2017. He also granted both defendants to bail on self recognition.