EFCC Files Fresh Charges Against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, Obla
A day after the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja struck out the 30 counts of bribery and unlawful enrichment filed against Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed fresh charges against them before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The judge and the SAN are scheduled to be arraigned on the fresh charges on Thursday (today) before Justice Rilwan Aikawa.
Unlike the charges struck out by Justice Hakeem Oshodi on Tuesday, the fresh charge sheet, marked FHC/139c/19, contains only 18 counts.
In the first count, the EFCC alleged that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla conspired to “indirectly conceal a sum of N5m in the Diamond Bank account of Nigel & Colive Limited, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: unlawful enrichment, contrary to sections 18 (a) and 15(2)(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”
The prosecution said they committed the offence on May 21, 2014 and were liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
In count four, the EFCC alleged that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia, on or about July 11, 2014 “indirectly concealed a total sum of N12m in the Diamond Bank account of Nigel & Colive Limited, opened and operated by you, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust.”
In a statement on Tuesday by its acting Head, Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, the EFCC said it re-arrested Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia so as to file fresh charges against her after Justice Oshodi struck out the earlier charges in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, that a serving judge could not be prosecuted unless first probed and sanctioned by the National Judicial Council.
Following a petition by the EFCC, the NJC had in October last year recommended Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia for dismissal from the Federal High Court bench.
The charges before Justice Oshodi predated NJC’s decision.
The EFCC withdrew them and filed fresh ones to bring Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s trial in line with the Court of Appeal’s decision in Nganjiwa’s case.