The trial of 15 persons arrested by the Nigeria Police Force over their involvement in the invasion of the residence of Supreme Court Justice, Mary Peter-Odili, finally commenced yesterday in a Federal High Court, Abuja, with the prosecution calling its first witness, a serving police officer.
The witness, ASP Madaki Chidawa, who was led into evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Mathew Amosun, identified some of the defendants who allegedly participated in the October 29, 2021, unlawful raid on the premises of the number two Justice of the apex court.
Meanwhile, trial judge, Justice Nkeonye Maha, has admitted three of the defendants to bail in the same sum and terms earlier granted 12 of the defendants in December last year.
The affected defendants included ASP Mohammed Yahaya, Abdullahi Adamu and Abdullahi Usman.
It would be recalled that Justice Maha had declined an oral application for Adamu and Usman, while noting that the bail application for Yahaya was not before the court.
Those earlier granted bail included: Adjodo Lawrence (A.k.a Ola Ojo), Micheal Diete-spiff, Alex Onyekuru, Bayero Lawal (aka director of EFCC), Igwe Ernest, Aliyu Ibrahim, Maimuna Maishanu, Ayodele Akindipe (Aka Herbalist) and Yusuf Adaiu (a.k.a godson to Peter Odili), Bashir Musa, Stanley Nkwazema and Shehu Jibo.
They are standing trial on an 18 count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and unlawful invasion.
They however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of N5 million each and two sureties each in likes sum.
The Judge said one of the sureties of each of the defendants must be a responsible citizen and an owner of a landed property in Abuja, while the second surety must be gainfully employed in Abuja with evidence of tax payment as at when due for the past three year.
The sureties, she said must depose to an affidavit of means and that the court would confirm the landed property of the sureties, while its original title to be deposited with the court.
The defendants she said, must deposit their international passport with the court and the Comptroller General of immigration would be notified of the seizure of the international passport.
Testifying, the witness narrated how the defendants had on October 29, last year attempted to gain entry into the residence of Justice Mary Peter-Odili.
Chidawa, who claimed he had spent about nine years working with the Supreme Court Justice, stated that the defendants, comprising of some army officers, led by CSP Lawrence Adjodo at about 18:00 hours arrived the Abuja residence of Justice Odili with a search warrant signed by a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja.
According to him, he refused to allow them into the house on the grounds that the number on the search warrant they showed him read, No. 7, Imo Rivers street, Maitaima, while Odili’s home is on No. 9, Imo Rivers street, Abuja.
He added that the defendants gave him a number to call if he was doubting them.
“On dialing the said number for confirmation, true-caller showed the name of one, Ojo Ola EFCC,” he said.
After a cross examination by counsel to the first and fourth defendants, the court adjourned to March 1, for cross examination of PW1 by counsel to other defendants.
Recall that the 15 defendants were part of 22 persons arrested and paraded on November 11 by the Police headquarters, Abuja over the invasion of Justice Peter-Odili’s house.