An Ikeja High Court has fixed December 14, 2018 to hear the no-case submissions in the ongoing corruption trial of dismissed Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a Federal High Court, Lagos judge and her co- defendant, Mr Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The National Judicial Council (NJC) had on October, 3, 2018 recommended the dismissal of Justice Ofili Ajumogobia to President Muhammadu Buhari who is yet to effect the recommendation.
Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial alongside Obla on a 31-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery proffered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Justice Hakeem Oshodi fixed the date on Friday after hearing the submissions of the prosecution and defence lawyers. The trial judge while adjourning had noted that counsel should by the adjourned date, “tidy up” all applications and ensure that the court attends to them simultaneously, saving precious judicial time.
Earlier during proceedings, Mr Robert Clarke (SAN) defence counsel to Ajumogobia, had informed the court that he had filed a Motion on Notice dated Oct. 23 challenging the jurisdiction and competency of the court to hear the case. He however noted that he intended but was yet to file a no-case submission before the court.
Mr Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Obla’s defence counsel, in his submission, informed the court that he had filed a no-case submission dated Sep. 14 but was yet to receive a response from the EFCC.
Responding, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, admitted receiving Adedipe’s no-case submission but noted that he is waiting to receive a similar application from Clarke. “I await the first defendant’s counsel to approach me because it is not tidy for me to respond to both applications separately,” Oyedepo said.
During the previous court proceedings held on September 14, 2018, the EFCC had closed its case against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia. In proving its case of corruption against Ofili-Ajumogobia, the EFCC presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
The anti-graft agency alleged that Ofili-Ajumogobia illegally received a sum of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015.
On his part, Obla (SAN) was alleged by the EFCC to have offered a sum of N5million as gratification to Ofili-Ajumogobia so as to pervert the course of justice. The offences are contrary to Sections 64(1), 82(a) and 69(1) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011