Bribery Trial: NJC Dismissed Petition Against Justice Ademola

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Justice-Adeniyi-Ademola
Justice-Adeniyi-Ademola

An official of the National Judicial Council, Mr. Eugene Odukwu, said before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, on Wednesday, that a petition accusing a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, was dismissed by the council.

Odokwu, who is the Director of Administration of the NJC, said this while appearing as the fourth prosecution witness in the ongoing joint trial of Justice Ademola; his wife, Olabowale and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi, on charges bordering mainly on receiving of gratification.

The said petition in question was sent to the NJC, by a former Director, Pension Accounts Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Shaibu Teidi, alleging that Justice Ademola demanded N25m as bribe from him while standing trial before the judge in 2013.

The petition was signed by Teidi’s wife, Fatimah.

Teidi’s trial before Justice Ademola in 2013 had to do with his (Teidi’s) alleged involvement in pension scam.

An official of the National Judicial Council, Mr. Eugene Odukwu, said before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, on Wednesday, that a petition accusing a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, was dismissed by the council.

Odokwu, who is the Director of Administration of the NJC, said this while appearing as the fourth prosecution witness in the ongoing joint trial of Justice Ademola; his wife, Olabowale and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi, on charges bordering mainly on receiving of gratification.

The said petition in question was sent to the NJC, by a former Director, Pension Accounts Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Shaibu Teidi, alleging that Justice Ademola demanded N25m as bribe from him while standing trial before the judge in 2013.

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The petition was signed by Teidi’s wife, Fatimah.

Teidi’s trial before Justice Ademola in 2013 had to do with his (Teidi’s) alleged involvement in pension scam.

It was alleged in the petition sent to the NJC that Justice Ademola attempted to obtain N25m as gratification from Teidi as condition for granting him bail in the course of the trial.

Following the raid on Justice Ademola’s residence by the operatives of the Department of State Services on October 7, 2016, the Federal Government filed 16 counts bordering mainly on receiving of gratifications, against the judge, his wife and Agi.

In one of the 16 counts preferred against the defendants, Justice Ademola was accused of attempting to receive gratification from Teidi.

The NJC official, Odokwu appeared in court as the fourth prosecution witness to tender documents in the custody of the council on Wednesday.

The witness tendered among others, the Certified True Copy of the proceedings of the council on the petition and the CTC of the report of the NJC in respect of its findings on Teidi’s allegation.

He responded “yes” when asked under cross-examination by Agi’s lawyer, Mr. Jeph Njikonye, that the petition on Teidi’s allegation had been dismissed by the NJC.

Also at the Wednesday’s proceedings, a Deputy Chief Registrar of the Litigation Department of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mrs. Christine Ende, appeared as the fifth prosecution witness called upon to tender documents in the court’s custody.

The documents she tendered were in relation to the suit with number ABJ/CR/82/2013.

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They were the CTCs of the charge, the amended charge, the motion for bail, ruling on bail application, motion for variation of bail conditions, and ruling refusing variation of bail conditions with respect to Teidi’s case.

Earlier, a former legal assistant to Justice Ademola, Mrs. Ojima Etuh, had also, under cross-examination, confirmed that the petition on Teidi’s allegation was dismissed by the NJC.

Etuh, who appeared in court as the third prosecution witness had maintained that she neither received nor laundered gratification for the judge.

Narrating how she knew Agi, Etuh said she knew the senior lawyer as Justice Ademola’s lawyer who had in the past defended the judge at the NJC.

Under cross-examination by Agi’s counsel (Njikonye), the witness confirmed that it was a petition by Teidi’s wife that was the subject of the case in Agi defended the judge  before the NJC.

She added that when she was invited by the DSS, she told the interrogators that she did not know any case of  gratification between the judge and Agi.

She also said she never received any gratification on behalf of Justice Ademola.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Segun Jegede’s attempt to call the sixth prosecution witness was objected to by defence lawyers on Wednesday.

The defence lawyers argued that  the witness, one Malik Olatunde, an official of Guaranty Trust Bank, could not begin his testimony while his written statement made to the DSS had not been made available to the defence.

The trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke adjourned the trial till January 30 for ruling on the defence lawyer’s objection.

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