EFCC arraigns Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Obla for bribery, unlawful enrichment

Ebun Francis

Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), were on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Lagos High court for alleged bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The duo are facing a 30 counts charge and the presiding Judge ordered them docked before the charges were read to them. They both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged that Obla, while appearing in a suit numbered FHC/L/C/482c/2010 before Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, offered a gratification of N5m to the judge to allegedly induce the judge to refrain from acting in the exercise of her official duties as a public officer.

Obla, the EFCC continued, paid the money from the account of his company, Obla & Company Limited, with United Bank for Africa, to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia through the bank account of Nigel & Colive Ltd in Diamond Bank Plc.

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The EFCC claimed that the duo acted contrary to sections 64 (1) and 97 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011.

In 24 out of the 30 counts, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was accused of unlawfully enriching herself as a public officer contrary to the provision of Section 82(a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.

The judge was accused of receiving a total of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015 “so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income.”

The EFCC told the court that Justice Ofili-Ajumobia violated Section 82(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011.

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Justice Ofilli- Ajumobia was equally accused of forging a deed of assignment between County City Bricks Development Co. Ltd and Nigel & Colive Ltd dated July 5, 2010, which the EFCC claimed was purportedly prepared and signed by Charles Musa & Co.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

In count 30, the EFCC accused Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia of giving false information to one of its operatives, Lawal Abdullahi, on October 19, 2016 by allegedly claiming on the telephone to be on admission at Gold Cross Hospital, Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, while she was not there.

The offence is said to be contrary to Section 39(2)(a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.