The trial of Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a Federal High Court judge and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, continued yesteray before Justice O.H. Oshodi of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, with a retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Tahir Musa, narrating how former Customs Comptroller-General, Dikko Inde Abdullahi directed that N12 million be paid into the bank account of the embattled judge.
In his testimony as third prosecution witness (PW3), Tahir Musa said he was ordered by his former boss, Dikko to give a paper containing Ofili-Ajumogobia’s Diamond Bank account details to one Musa Omale, with a directive that the sum of N12 million that would be transferred to his (Omale’s) account should be paid into Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account by him.
Earlier, another prosecution witness, Anuli Okpala, a staff of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) had revealed how the sum of N87 million was paid into Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account.
Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial alongside Obla on a 30-count charge bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery.
The defendants allegedly committed the offense on May 21, 2015, when they allegedly conspired to pervert the course of justice with the sum of N5 million.
At the hearing on Friday, Okpala, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court how the money was paid into Ofili-Ajumogobia’s FCMB account by a company named ‘’Citi’’ through the order of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
However, while under cross-examination by the counsel to the first defendant, A.O. Akoni, SAN, Okpala told the court that she did not know the purpose for which the money was paid into Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account.
Another prosecution witness, Dr. Gregory Omoseru Ero, CEO, Arkling Oil and Gas Limited, told the court how the first defendant had begged him for N18, 000, 000.00 in his office.
He said: “ I offered the sum of N18, 000,000.00 financial assistance to Justice Ofili- Ajumogobia. I obliged because she was an outsourced- Secretary I trusted in one of my companies that deals in drilling products and drilling services. That was before she was appointed a Federal High Court judge.
“She told me in my office that she had a financial problem regarding the completion of her property transaction in the United Kingdom, which was a matter of urgency.’’
Ero, an engineer, however, told the court that Ofili- Ajumogobia had refused to pay back the money since 2012.
“She has not been picking my calls since then, ” he added.
Also, the prosecution counsel opposed the applications filed and served by counsels to the defendants seeking the order of the court to temporarily release the international passports of the defendants to enable them to travel abroad for medicals.
Justice Oshodi, however, suspended proceedings when arguments came up between the defense counsels and prosecution counsel on the relevance and admissibility of the evidence given by the third witness.
Consequently, Justice Oshodi adjourned to June 1, 2017 for ruling on the relevance and admissibility of the evidence given by the former Deputy Comptroller General of Customs and for the continuation of trial.
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