Thursday, December 8

Alleged N5m: Court Varies Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Obla Bail Conditions

Alleged N5m: Court Varies Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Obla Bail Conditions

Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and Chief Godwin Obla

Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Thursday granted two separate applications filed by suspended Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla seeking the variation of the bail conditions earlier granted by the court.

It will be recalled that the judge had last week Monday granted the duo bail on self recognizance but with the condition that they must deposit the sum of N20 million with the Chief Registrar of the court within seven days of the ruling, or the bail will be revoked.

However, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla 24 hours before the expiration of the time limit both filed application to vary the condition.

In her application argued on her behalf by her lawyer, Olawale Akoni, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia pleaded with the court to convert the N20 million cash deposit to a N20 million bond.

She said that she could not raised the cash deposit because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) had freeze all her bank accounts and all efforts to raised the money from family and friends has not been successful.

In his own application, Obla urge to convert the N20 million cash deposit to a N5 million bond.

He stated that he is finding it difficult to raise the cash because of the responsibility of running his law firm and that the allegation again at his in the charge before the court is only N5 million.

The applications was not opposed to by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who urged the court to use its discretion to decide the application.

Oyedepo noted that inspite of the Commission’s opposition to the initial bail applications, the judge still granted the defendants bail.

In his ruling, Justice Oshodi vary the bail conditions by ordering the defendants to both entered into a bond of N20 million each within seven days from Thursday.

The judge also directed them to swore to an affidavit of means to show that they would be able to paid the sum if the need arises.

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 offenses.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Oshodi has adjourned the case till January 9 for continuation of trial.

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