Legal/Judiciary

Court throws out money laundering charge against Justice Ajumogobia

By Francis IWUCHUKWU

The money laundering charge instituted against Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumohobia of a Federal High Court was on Friday thrown into the air by a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria.

The court presided over by Justice Ambrose Lewis Allagoa threw out the charge initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while granting the application to quash and dismiss the charge, filed and argued by Olawale Akoni, SAN, counsel to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.

Praying the court to dismiss the money laundering charge the SAN informed the trial judge that the application is sequel to an order of Justice Binta M. Nyako of the Abuja Division of the court, which he said had quashed all the recommendations made by the National Judicial Council, NJC.

The senior lawyer equally told Justice Allagoa that by the judgment of Justice Nyako delivered on November 28, 2019, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/638/2018, between Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and the NJC, the judge had quashed NJC’s report and recommendation, and that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had been reinstated.

In responding, lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Rotimi Oyedepo notified Justice Allagoa that the Commission had responded to the application through a counter-affidavit.

In his ruling, the trial judge held that “I have looked at the application. I have also looked into the counter-affidavit of the prosecution, it has not indeed controverted the application.

“I am satisfied that the application has merit, the prayers sought for are hereby granted as prayed.”

Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was first arraigned on April 18, 2019, before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, alongside a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Godwin Obla on an 18-count charge of unlawful enrichment, illegal concealment, corruption, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency had also alleged that the defendants allegedly conspired to indirectly conceal the sum of N5, 000,000.00 in the Diamond Bank account of a firm which sum they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: unlawful enrichment.

But the duo pleaded not guilty to the charge.

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