EFCC Rearraigns Ajumogobia, Withdraws Charges against Obla

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By Davidson Iriekpen

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

The embattled judge was re-arraigned on a 15-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of public trust before Justice Mohammed Liman of the same court in Lagos.

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia pleaded not guilty to all the counts preffered against her.

The prosecution counsel, Suleiman Suleiman applied for a trial date to enable the prosecution call its witnesses.

But her counsel, Mobolaji Kuji, urged the court to allow the defendant continue on the terms and conditions of the bail granted her earlier by Justice Rilwan Aikawa who had formerly handled the case before he recused himself from the case.

Justice Liman, in his short ruling, ordered that the defendant continue on the terms and conditions of the bail earlier granted her.

The judge thereafter adjourned the case to April 21 and 28 respectively for trial.

The anti-graft agency had on Thursday, April 18, 2019, arraigned Ofili-Ajumogobia before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on an 18-count charge bordering on breach of trust, false statement and unlawful enrichment.

Before her re-arraignment yesterday, counsel to the EFCC, Suleiman, applied to the court to withdraw the name of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Godwin Obla who had earlier been charged alongside Justice Ajumogobia.

The court granted the request and Obla was accordingly acquitted and discharged.

Obla was alleged to have offered Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia bribe for judicial favours in a criminal trial with Charge No: FHC/L/C/482C/10 between FRN V. Temisan Omatseye, which he (Obla) conducted diligently for six years, secured a conviction after 46 appearances from 2010 to 2016, on behalf of EFCC.

The discharge and acquittal of Obla paved the way for the re-arraignment of Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia as the sole defendant in the amended charge.