BY OLUGBENGA SOYELE, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday told a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja how suspended judge Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia tried to cover her tracks with 11 mobile phones while she was being investigated.
An EFCC operative, Abdullahi Lawal stated this while giving evidence in the ongoing trial of the embattled judge and a former prosecutor of the commission, chief Godwin Obla (SAN) before Justice Hakeem Oshodi.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla, who was accused of bribing her with N5million, were jointly charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Obla is facing an additional two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5m to Ofili-Ajumogobia, a public official while serving as a judge.
Ofili-Ajumogobia faces a 26-count charge bordering on unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.
They both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
While being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, Lawal said that Ajumogobia tried desperately to contact most of the people she knew the anti graft agency would invite for questioning, in connection to an investigation on how she came about monies in naira, dollars, and pounds in her bank accounts which EFCC alleged was above her lawful emolument.
He said, “Because she was under investigation, we wrote a letter to her employer, the National Judicial Commission requesting for a detailed breakdown of her salary and allowances.
“The NJC replied and it was discovered that her annual salary as at the time of investigation was N5.3million while her allowances were N7.5million.
“When we asked Justice Ajumogobia about the transactions of $50,000, $70,000, $20000, $30000, and $55,000 traced to her Diamond bank account, she told us that the monies were proceeds from lands she sold in Benin and Asaba.
“She further informed the EFCC that her lawyer, one Grant Ezenwa, helped her to sell the lands. But when Ezenwa was contacted, he claimed to have sold just a piece of land for her in Benin at the cost of N9. 7million.
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