14 witnesses to testify against Justice Ademola, wife, SAN
There are indications that the Federal Government has added some prosecution witnesses against the embattled judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, and his wife, Olubolade, following Wednesday’s amendment of the gratification charges preferred against them last December.
With Wednesday’s amendment, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi, whom the prosecution accused of giving N30m and a BMW car worth N8.5m to Justice Ademola as gratification, has been joined as a defendant.
It also increased the number of counts from nine to 16.
The three defendants pleaded not guilty to all the 16 counts when read to them before Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, on Wednesday.
This is coming barely five days after an official of Diamond Bank Plc, Ademola Oshodi, has revealed he helped Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia wire thousands of United States of American dollars to a company named Silver Steps Incorporated in the United Kingdom.
In the fresh list of witnesses, accompanying the amended charges, the prosecution named 14 witnesses to be called against the three defendants.
The Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council and the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court are among the 14 proposed prosecution witnesses.
The specific names of the occupants of both the offices of the Executive Secretary of the NJC and the Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court were not given.
Also listed as one of the prosecution witnesses is a former Director, Pension Accounts Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Sani Teidi, who stood trial before Justice Ademola at the Federal High Court, Abuja in 2013.
The others include Teidi’s wife, Fatimah, and one of the ex-director’s associates, one Prince Faboro.
The rest are operatives of the Department of State Services and five officials of Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank Plc.
The sums of money were allegedly found in the judge’s house during the raid by the operatives of the DSS on October 7, 2016.
The prosecution accused the judge of “holding” the sums of money as “gratification contrary to Section 24 of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000 and punishable under the same section of the Act.”
Justice Ademola and his wife were initially arraigned on December 13, 2016, on nine counts.