JUSTICE AJUMOGOBIA’S TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH EFCC OFFICER PLAYED IN OPEN COURT

Read previous post on case here.

Trial continued in the charge against Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla SAN today at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) played the audio recording of two telephone calls between an investigating officer of the Commission who is currently testifying in the proceedings and the Judge. In the telephone call which is earlier in time, the Judge, responding to an invitation sent to her by the Commission is heard telling the investigating officer that she cannot honor the invitation on the date her presence was requested as she is on admission at Goldcross Hospital located at Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi. She is heard telling the officer that she would communicate a suitable date to him once she gets information from her doctors regarding when she would be discharged from the hospital.

In the second recording which was played, the investigating officer is heard asking Justice Ajumogobia if she is still on admission in response to which she stated that she was. He then informed her that they were physically present at the hospital and were informed that she was not currently on admission. She is heard asking “You are here?” And the officer responded that they were. The line went silent and the officer is heard saying ‘”hello?” repeatedly before the call ended.

The investigating officer thereafter proceeded with his evidence, testifying about the sum of N8 million transferred to the account of Nigel & Colive operated by the Judge. The counsel representing the Judge, Chief Robert Clarke SAN objected to the line of evidence being given on the ground that it had no bearing with any of the counts in the charge. The prosecutor, Mr. Oyedepo responded by stating that he had earlier informed the lawyers to the defendants that he intended to amend the charge to reflect the evidence already given. The presiding judge, Justice Oshodi was however uncomfortable with the untidy nature of presenting evidence before amending the charge. He stated that while the prosecutor was empowered to amend the charge, the manner in which it was being done would necessitate the recalling of the witnesses after they had been discharged because the defence might not see the point of cross-examining on facts which do not constitute part of the charge before the court.

Mr. Oyedepo therefore sought for an adjournment to enable the Commission amend the charge. The charge was adjourned to the 23rd of February 2018 for continuation of the evidence of the Commission’s investigative officer.

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