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Monday, 6 March 2017

Anxiety as Ademola, others file ‘no case’ submission

Justice Adeniyi Ademola (right) looks away from the camera while appearing before an Abuja High Court on Tuesday.<br />PHOTO: LADIDI LUCY ELUKPO

The Federal Government has closed its case in the on-going trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the federal high court, Abuja, his wife, Olubowale and an Abuja-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe Agi.

Although, list of witnesses was long and as such, would have taken longer time to exhaust, the order for accelerated hearing obtained by the defendants quickened the trial process.

The defendants have applied for accelerated hearing to enable them clear the charges of corruption brought against them by the Department of State Security Service (DSS), and in his magnanimity, the motion was granted by Justice Jude Okeke of High Court of Abuja.

The judge had consequently stood down several other cases to give desired attention to the hearing of Justice Ademola’s case. Justice Ademola and his wife were arraigned on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy to receive gratification as well as receiving gratification of N30 million from Joe Agi and Associates, between March 11 and March 26, 2015.

Agi, however, was not in the original charge but was brought in following the amended charge from 11 to 16 counts. His ‘sin’ was allegedly that of offering a BMW Saloon car 320i valued at N8.5million to Justice Ademola through his son, Ademide, as gratification in the exercise of his official functions as the judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria was also alleged to have paid N30 million in three trenches to Justice Ademola in March 2015, through his wife, Olubowale. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, for the curious minds, who were wondering why Agi was not named in the original charge, the explanation offered by the prosecution counsel, Segun Jegede, was that the prosecution had decided not to join the 3rd defendant (Agi), so as to avoid delay in the trial.

In any case, at the exhaustion of the prosecution witness list, which extended from 16 to 19, the defendants have filed a ‘no-case’ submission, which would be adopted at the next adjourned date of March 15. Agi’s counsel, Jeph Ejinkonye, stated that there was no need to call defense witnesses in his client’s trial.

To save the court’s time, Justice Okeke had ordered the defence counsel to file and serve the court and one another with relevant processes on the motion before the March 15. According to Ejinkonye, both the testimonies given by the witnesses and the surface value of the charge have not been able to establish a prima facie case against his client and others.

Vía The Guardian Nigeria

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