The Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday heard a witness describe
how foreign currency was moved from Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia chambers
and deposited into her account in Diamond Bank.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Ademola Oshodi was
testifying at the ongoing trial of Ofili-Ajumogobia, a serving judge of
the Federal High Court, who is being tried alongside Godwin Obla, a Senior
Advocate of Nigeria.
The duo, who are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC, for alleged corruption, have been jointly charged with
two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Mr. Obla was charged with additional two-counts of offering gratification
in the sum of N5million to Mrs, Ofili-Ajumogobia, a public official while
carrying out her duties as a judge.
Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, however, faces a 26-count charge of unlawful
enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption by a public
officer, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.
The accused persons both denied all the charges.
The EFCC alleges that between 2012 and 2015, Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia
received a total of $788,000 from various sources into her Diamond Bank
Account with number 0032091183.
While being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr.
Oshodi told the court that he met Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia at her chambers at
the Federal High Court when he opened an account for her with the bank.
Mr. Oshodi, a Branch Manager with Diamond Bank Plc, is the account officer
for Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia.
The banker alleged that he often visited the justice’s chambers and also
her home whenever she needed his services to make such deposits which was
mostly in dollars.
“I used to meet the judge in her chambers and sometimes in her home, where
I’d receive the foreign currency, which was U.S. dollars to deposit into
her bank account.
“I introduced one Abba Said, a Bureau de Change operative to her when
there was a need to change the dollars to naira.
“This mostly happens when she was not comfortable with a particular
“There were instances where the deposits exceeded the maximum amount for
an individual account, when such instances occur, I pay the maximum amount
into her account.
“I then deposit the remaining cash into my account which is paid into her
account in subsequent days,” Mr. Oshodi told the packed courtroom.
The counsel to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, Olawole Akoni, however, raised
objections when EFCC attempted to tender his client’s account statements
as evidence on the grounds that he had not reviewed the bank statements.
“The first defendant has been in incarceration since November 10. She
needs adequate time and facility to defend herself. I humbly seek an
adjournment,” Mr. Akoni said.
Supporting his request for adjournment, lawyer to Mr. Obla, Ifedayo
Adedipe, also said the second defendant had been in incarceration since
“Given the circumstances in which we had our meetings, it was not even
possible to prepare adequately for trial.
“I will like to request for an adjournment so that we can make judicious
use of the time to prepare adequately for trial,” Mr. Adedipe said.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi in granting an adjournment said, “for the purpose of
fair hearing, the court will accede to the request for adjournment of this
“The case is adjourned to January 9, 2017 for continuation of trial,” Mr.