The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will today arraign a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla, before a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, Lagos.
Obla is a former prosecutor of the anti-graft agency.
The duo are to be docked before Justice Akeem Oshodi on a 30-count charge of conspiracy to pervert justice by allegedly giving and receiving a bribe of N5 million.
According to the EFCC, about $793,800 passed through the judge’s domiciliary accounts between 2012 and 2015, which she allegedly used to buy a house in London.
The two accounts, Access Bank (0002649223) and Diamond Bank (0032091183), have since been frozen by the anti-graft agency.
Five of the charges are centred on an alleged N5 million bribe given to the judge by Obla while the remaining 25 charges are on the huge amounts that passed through the accounts of Ofili-Ajumogobia and her alleged inability to explain her source of wealth.
The other charges filed against the judge border on forgery, lying, unlawful enrichment and other related offences.
Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla have been in the custody of the EFCC for about 17 days, following revelations that the senior advocate paid N5 million into her account in 2015 at a time she was presiding over one of his cases.
While Ofili-Ajumogobia allegedly claimed the money was a deposit for a N40 million property she sold to Obla, the senior advocate said the money was payment for building materials.
Obla also insisted that he did not know that the account belonged to the judge.
In the charge with number LD/367/C/16, the anti-graft agency said that the defendants committed the offence on May 21, 2015, when they conspired to pervert the course of justice with the sum of N5 million.
The said sum, according to the EFCC, was transferred to one Nigel & Colive Ltd, in relation to a charge number FHC/L/C/482/10.
Specifically, the commission maintained that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is the sole signatory to Nigel & Colive Ltd.
According to counts one to four, Obla was particularly accused of offering gratification in the said sum, by transferring the money from his company’s account, Obla & Co., domiciled with the United Bank for Africa, to Nigel and Colive.
The transfer, according to the charge, was made so as to restrain a public officer from acting in exercise of her official duties.
Count five of the charge stated that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia unlawfully enriched herself by receiving a transfer of the sum of N18 million from one Arkleem Oil and Gas Ltd, to her Diamond Bank account.
According to counts 6 to 20 of the charge, the anti-graft agency argued that Justice Ajumogobia received a transfer of monies from various outlets to her Diamond Bank account to the tune of over $788,000.
In count 29, the Federal High Court judge was accused of forging a deed of assignment between a company, County City Bricks Dev. Co. Ltd and Nigel & Colive Ltd.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was equally alleged to have made a false statement to the EFCC: that she was on admission at one Gold Cross Hospital, located at Bourdillon, Ikoyi, a statement found to be false.
The EFCC submitted that both defendants committed offences in contravention of the provisions of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State.
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