CASE UPDATE: FRN V. JUSTICE AJUMOGOBIA & GODWIN OBLA SAN

Read previous post on case here.

Trial in the criminal charge against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla SAN moved forward a snail pace today as the prosecution filed additional list of witnesses and additional proof of evidence this morning and was just able to serve the defence teams of both defendants in court this morning.

At the resumed hearing of the charge, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel for the EFCC informed the court that the witness who had not been cross-examined by the defence was present in court to be cross-examined. The witness, Mr. Musa Tahir from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) had earlier testified that sometime in 2014 he was directed by the Comptroller General of the NCS at the time, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko to hand over a paper which contained the account details of a company, Nigel & Olive Limited said to be operated by Justice Ajumogobia to Mr. Musa Omale, an assistant comptroller in the service. He testified that he was instructed to liaise with area comptroller of 12 commands who were to pay the sum of 1 million Naira each into the account of Mr. Omale who was to transfer the total sum to the account of Nigel & Olive Limited.

He was cross-examined by Mr. Akoni SAN representing the judge in the charge. Under cross-examination, Mr. Tahir stated that he had never met the judge one-on-one. He admitted that he doesn’t know why the then Comptroller General had asked for the money to be paid into the account. He also stated that the instructions were in writing and that he handed over the paper to Mr. Musa Omale who carried out the transfer. He admitted that he doesn’t know what the payment was for or the source of the money or where the money came from. When he was asked by Mr. Akoni SAN if the then Comptroller General of Customs who had issued the directives was still alive, he answered that he was.

Chief Ifedayo Adedipe SAN representing his brother silk in the charge informed the court that he had no questions for the witness. The witness was discharged.

Mr. Oyedepo informed the court that the next witness the prosecution intended to call, Dr. Olumuyiwa Solanke, was listed in the additional list of witnesses just filed and served today and that his witness statement was in the additional proof of evidence also just filed and served today. Both Mr. Akoni SAN and Chief Adedipe SAN submitted that it was only fair that they be given time to go through the bundle of documents served on them today before the witness can be called. Mr. Oyedepo agreed that the defendants have a constitutional right to adequate time and facilities to prepare their defence and apologized to the court and the defence teams for bringing in the documents late.

The charge has been adjourned till after the annual court vacation for continuation of trial.

/***/