By Romanus Okoye
Prosecution witness, Mr. Ademola Oshodi, has told a Lagos High Court sitting at Ikeja how he deposited huge sums of money various times into Diamond Bank accounts belonging to Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
Oshodi, who is a staff of the bank as well as the account officer of the judge, disclosed at the resumed trial of the Federal High Court Judge and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria that whenever the money was above the lawful threshold that could be deposited in the judge’s account in a day, he would split the money into two, deposit a portion into Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account and the remaining portion in his own personal account which he will later transfer into her account.
The duo were arraigned by EFCC on November 28, 2016 before Justice Oshodi on a 30-count charge bordering on perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information to the EFCC and forgery.
According to the charge sheet, four of the charges which directly concerned Obla centred on an alleged N5 million bribe given to the judge by the senior advocate, while the remaining 25 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 EFCC alleged that about $793,800 passed through the judge’s domiciliary accounts between 2012 and 2015. The judge allegedly used the money to buy a house in London. They, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were granted bail on self-recognisance as prayed by their counsel, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN) for Ofili-Ajumogobia and Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) for Obla, despite stiff opposition by the prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo on the grounds that they might interfere with investigation and prosecution witnesses.