The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, re-arraigned a Federal High Court, FHC, judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, on allegations of unlawful enrichment, breach of trust, and money laundering.
It brought an amended 15-count charge of March 2, 2021, against her before Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The Commission arraigned Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Godwin Obla, on a 30-count charge on November 28, 2016, on offences bordering on perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information and forgery.
But, on April 16, 2019, Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Ikeja High Court struck out the charge against the defendants on the ground, among others, that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
At the commencement of proceedings Wednesday, EFCC counsel Suleiman Suleiman applied to the FHC to withdraw Obla’s name from the charge.
Granting the prayer, Justice Liman acquitted and discharged Obla.
This paved the way for Ofili-Ajumogobia’s re-arraignment as the sole defendant on the amended charge.
In the first count, the EFCC claimes that “Hon. Justice Rita Ngozi Ofili Ajumogobia on or about the 11th day of July, 2014 in Lagos…, indirectly concealed the total sum of N12 million in the diamond account of Nigel & Colive Ltd., a sum she reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act…and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same act.
Justice Ajumogobia pleaded not guilty to all 15 counts.
Her counsel, Mobolaji Kuti then applied to the court to allow her continue on the bail previously granted by his brother judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa who had earlier recused himself from her trial.
Justice Liman granted this application before adjourning to April 21 & 28 for trial.
Source: The Nation