•Another N54m for building projects
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The 16 prosecution witness (PW16) in the ongoing joint trial of Justice Ademola, his wife, Olabowale and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi (SAN), yesterday, gave a breakdown of how the embattled judge planned to spend the money recovered from his official residence by operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) in October last year.
The prosecution had, earlier in the course of the trial, tendered the sums of N54 million; $171,779; €4,400; £80 and R1,010 (Indian rupees) on October 7, 2016, said to be recovered from the house of the judge of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
Other items tendered through the prosecution witness included, two Avar Magnum Pump Action gun, bearing the names of Justice Ademola and another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed. The guns were accompanied with the original copies and photocopies of the licences bearing Justices Ademola and Mohmammed’s names.
The witness, Babatunde Adepoju, an investigator with the DSS, who investigated Justice Ademola, revealed in his evidence-in-chief, yesterday, that during interrogation at the DSS headquarters, Abuja, on October 9, 2016, the judge admitted ownership of the N54 million recovered at his apartment, explaining that the money was earmarked for construction works at one of his properties at No. 55 Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja G.R.A, Lagos.
According to the witness, Ademola said the money was for onward delivery to a construction firm, Dadks Concepts, which the judge claimed was carrying out the major reconstruction works. In addition, the witness disclosed that Justice Ademola also explained that the $171,799 recovered at his residence was accumulated estacodes and withdrawals from his personal account as upkeep money meant for two of his children in the United Kingdom.
Adepoju said the search on Justice Ademola’s official residence led to the recovery of incriminating materials, including the recovery of two rifles.
The witness said a ‘ballistician’ was consulted on the two rifles recovered at Justice Ademola’s house and from his report, he was able to find that the weapons were not mere metals, but fall under the category of prohibited firearms and could only be licensed at the discretion of the President of Nigeria.
The witness also said Justice Mohammed denied ownership of the weapon and licence bearing his name. He said men from British High Commission and DSS adviced that some of the judges should procure firearms because of the sensitivity of their duties.
“On the appointment of his wife as Head of Service (HOS), Lagos State, Ademola denied any association with Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was claimed to have influenced his wife’s appointment. He said his wife was the most senior permanent secretary as at the time of her appointment.
“On the allegation of $200 bribe, he said the petitioner, Jenkins, after submitting his petition to NJC, came back to apologise to him, claiming he was misinformed by counsel to Delta State government.
“On Nnamdi Kanu’s case Ademola denied receiving any bribe and said the case was earlier discharged at the Magistrate Court, after which it was brought to him and counsel to DSS, Moses Idako requested for his stay in custody for 90 days; and after the expiration of the 90 days, he felt there was no need to keep him any longer.