Court Fixes Dec 14 for Hearing of Justice Ajumogobia’s No Case Submission

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Justice Ajumogobia

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja will on December 14 hear the no-case submission applications filed by suspended judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia 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.

The embattled judge and Obla, who the EFCC accused of bribing her with N5 million, were jointly charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Obla is facing an additional two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5m to the embattled judge, a public official, while serving as a judicial officer.

While Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial on a 26-count charge bordering on unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The trial judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, fixed the date on Friday after hearing the submissions of the prosecution and defence lawyer.

Justice Oshodi, before adjourning the case directed counsel in the matter to “tidy up” all their processes to ensure that the court attends to them simultaneously thereby saving precious judicial time.

When the case was called for hearing, counsel to Justice Ajumogobia, Robert Clarke (SAN) had informed the court that he had filed a Motion on Notice dated October 23 challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the court to hear the case.

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Clarke, however, noted that he intended but was yet to file a no-case submission before the court.

On his part, lawyer to Obla, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) told the court that he had filed a no-case submission dated September 14 but was yet to receive response from the EFCC.

Responding, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo admitted to receiving copies of 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, the EFCC had closed its case against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.

In proving its case of corruption against Ofili-Ajumogobia, the EFCC had presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.

The anti-graft agency had alleged that Ofili-Ajumogobia had illegally received a sum of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015.

The offences are contrary to Sections 64(1), 82(a) and 69(1) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.

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