From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
An operative of the Department of States Security Service (DSS), Ike Onuoha, yesterday, gave details of how large sums of money, including N54 million, $121,279, 4,400 euros, 80 pounds and 1,010 rupees, were recovered from the house of Justice Adeniyi Ademola during the controversial sting operations.
Onuoha, who is the second prosecution witness, told Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that he was leader of the team, comprising eight other officers, that stormed the residence of the suspended judge, located at No. 30B S.O Ogbemudia Crescent, Apo Legislative Quarters, following an instruction by his immediate superior.
He, however, said he was not aware whether there was a complaint or not against the judge, and added that his team was briefed based on a petition and information relating to incriminating items in the house of the said judge.
Giving details of items recovered during the midnight search, which he said was conducted in the presence of Joe Agi (the 3rd defendant) and his cook, Ken, Onuoha said the team also recovered two pump action rifles alongside 35 life cartridges.
However, under cross examination by counsel to Justice Ademola, Onyekachi Ikpeazu (SAN), Onuoha admitted there was no complaint of stolen or missing money to have warranted the recovery of the said sums of money from the judge’s residence.
On how his team gained entrance into the house, he disclosed that they forced the main door of the judge’s house open, using a screw bar when the cook and the private security guard refused to open the door for them, even after he introduced himself and also told them their mission.
Under further cross examination, Ikpeazu had confronted the witness that there were bullet holes on the security door of the judge’s house, but the witness answered in the negative. Also asked whether the judge searched his body before he commenced the search on the house, the witness answered no, but added that the cook searched him. Onuoha further admitted he did not see Mrs Olubowale Ademola, who is the second defendant in the matter in the house on the said day, and that none of her property was part of things recovered from the house.
While being cross examined by counsel to Joe Agi (SAN), the third defendant, Jeff Njikonye, the witness admitted he knew from the media that the “DSS is pursuing a sensitive case against Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu.”
When asked whether he knew that Justice Ademola gave an order against the DSS to release Dasuki from its custody after three months in detention without a charge, the witness said it was correct. According to Njikonye: “I put it to you that the courageous ruling of the first defendant was his offense against the DSS.” The witness, however, said he was not aware of such.
Earlier, the PW 1, Ifeoma Ofonogoro, who is a sales representative with Coscharis Motors Limited, while being cross examined, admitted that the company did not have any transaction with Justice Ademola, but Ademide, who is judge’s son.
She also admitted that Ademide paid for the licensing of the car which the company did for him, and he also insured the car in his name.
She also added that she had followed Ademide up on the maintenance of the car, especially when he had a minor accident with the car.
After calling two witnesses, the prosecution prayed for an adjournment till today to bring two more witnesses.
The defence, however, opposed the application for adjournment on ground that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provided for a day to day trial, and that they were ready to continue with the trial.
Responding, the prosecution informed the court that some of his witnesses had complained they were being threatened by unknown persons and because of that he could not have access to them.
In a short ruling, the court adjourned till today at the instance of the prosecution.