No evidence Justice Ademola demanded bribe to grant Kanu, Dasuki bail – DSS



ABUJA – The Department of State Service, DSS, on Monday, told an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama, that its investigations could not establish that Justice Adeniyi Ademola who is facing corruption charges, demanded bribe to grant bail to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu. 

Division of the Federal High Court (left) with his associate (right) and Chief Robert Clark (middle) at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama. Photo: NAN The security agency, through one of its lead investigators, Mr. Babatunde Adepoju, also told the court that it could not confirm that the accused Judge collected bribe before he granted the detained former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, retd, bail on self-recognition. Mr. Adepoju testified as the sixteenth prosecution witness, PW-16, before Justice Jude Okeke who is presiding over the 18-count criminal charge FG entered against Justice Ademola and his wife, Olabowale. FG equally cited a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mr. Joe Agi, as the 3rd defendant in the corruption charge. Justice Ademola who is grandson of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria was among seven superior court Judges that were arrested after a sting operation the DSS conducted between October 7 and 8, 2016. He had shortly after his arrest, blamed his ordeal on the fact that he ordered FG to immediately release both Kanu and Dasuki, who have been in detention since October 14 and November 15, 2015, respectively, on bail, pending the determination of charges against them. Ademola made the allegation in a letter he wrote to the National Judicial Council, NJC, to institute a fundamental right enforcement suit against the DSS. Meanwhile, under cross-examination on Monday, the DSS investigator, said there was no proof that the first defendant was financially induced to order FG to release Kanu and Dasuki. The PW-16 however narrated to the court, how investigations revealed that Justice Ademola had through various court orders, awarded over $4.374billion to the 3rd defendant, Agi, SAN. He said investigation showed that Agi deposited N30m into Mrs. Ademola’s Account between March 11 and 26, in three tranches of N10m each. “My further investigation was on the connection between Justice Ademola and Agi, SAN. I tried to establish that Agi had cases pending and concluded, before Justice Ademola. “I discovered that Agi has actually had cases before Justice Ademola. Two among these cases that raised eyebrow where the cases of ALGON vs FG. “The other case was that of Friday Ukpong vs Chief of Naval Staff. These two cases involved huge sums of money and was handled by Agi. “Both cases emanated from Calabar, Cross River State which was Justice Ademola’s previous posting. “In the ALGON case, three Garnishee Orders were granted by Justice Ademola in favour of Joe Agi’s client in respect of a matter involving Linear International Ltd. “The first Garnishee Order granted was in excess of $637m, dated February 20, 2015. “The second Garnishee Order was granted in excess of the sum of $637m, the same sum as at the first one. It was dated March 27, 2015, a day after the last tranche of N10m was paid into Mrs. Olabowale’s account in a case that was filed, heard and granted the same day. “The last Garnishee Order in respect of Linear Ltd was in excess of $3.1billion in favour of Joe Agi’s client. “Also in the Friday Ukpong’s case Vs Chief of Naval Staff, a Garnishee Order in the sum of N300m was granted by Justice Ademola in favour of Agi’s client. “In establishing the connection between the payments and the cases before Justice Ademola, the first Garnishee Order was granted in February 2015, shortly after Agi presented a car gift of about N8.5m to Ademola’s son. “The last tranche of N10m paid into Mrs. Ademola’s Account was on March 26, 2015, a day before another Garnishee Order Nise was made in excess of $637m. “The last Garnishee Order Nise in the sum of $3.1bn, just five days after the last tranche of N10m was paid into Mrs. Ademola’s Account. “These transactions caught my attention as the court processes were all filed in Calabar, in Justices Ademola’s court, with Agi as the lawyer in all the cases. “After Justice Ademola’s transfer to Abuja, these cases still surfaced in his court in Abuja”, the witness added. Trial Justice Okeke admitted certified true copy of six court processes in the Friday Ukpong’s case as exhibits BB to BB5. The court also admitted into evidence, three Garnishee Orders Justice Ademola made in respect of Linear International Ltd. Meanwhile, the defence team led by Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, and Mr. Jeph Njikonye, said they would raise to objections to the documents at the appropriate stage. Continuing his testimony, the witness, told the court that he enlisted the service of a balistician to examine two Pump Action guns found at Justice Ademola’s house. He said the balistician’s report showed that the weapons were under the category of prohibited firearms that can only be licensed by the President of Nigeria. “In respect of one of the firearms, I interviewed Hon. Justice A. R. Mohammed to ascertain the veracity of Justice Ademola’s claim that he owns the gun. “Justice A. R. Mohammed denied ownership of the gun. Also in the course of my investigation, I took witness statement of Dr. Sani Teidi who once stood trial before Justice Ademola. “Teidi alleged that Justice Ademola demanded a bribe of N25m or forfeiture of his property. “He said that the Judge approached them through a proxy who was always calling his wife, with a UBA account number sent to his wife for the money to be lodged in. “I followed the lead through the account number by obtaining the mandate cards and the account opening packages of the said proxy, Kingsley O. in UBA. “I traced it to Jos where he claimed he was residing. Enquiries at the neighbourhood in Jos revealed that the person had gone into hiding. We placed his GSM on technical surveillance for his possible arrest”. He told the court that the 3rd defendant, Agi, SAN, was interrogated twice by the DSS on December 13 and 23 December, 2016. “We invited him because of his lodgements into Justice Ademola’s wife account, as well as the car purchase for his son, Ademide. “I asked him to comment on the three tranches of N10m paid into Mrs Ademola’s account and the car purchased from Coscharis Motors Ltd on January 5, 2015. “In his response, Agi said he has known Justice Ademola since early 2001 when they were active members of their respective State chapters of the NBA. “He said after elevation of Justice Ademola to position of a Federal High Court Judge, their friendship metamorphosed into brotherhood. “That he is a family friend to the Ademola”s and also serve as their family lawyer. “Agi admitted that the money paid into Mrs Ademola’s account was based on instructions from two of his clients, Mr. Ken Hubert and Mr. Bassey Bassey who are based in America. “He said they instructed him to remit the sum of $150, 000 in support of the Ademolas’ during their daughter’s wedding. “He said the two men were introduced to him by Justice Ademola about five years ago and that they operate Maritime Companies both within and outside Nigeria under the name of Rangers Subsea Nigeria Ltd & Bear Marine Ltd. “According to Agi, the conversion rate for the $150, 000 was N37m as at then, but he only transferred N30m to Mrs. Ademola”. Justice Okeke admitted the two statements Agi made at the DSS and marked them as exhibits XX and YY, respectively. The PW-16 said Justice Ademola had maintained that some of the money found on him were proceeds from his father’s estate. He said investigation revealed that one Olabode Johnson of Johnson & Johnson partners, lodged $520, 000 into Justice Ademola’s account. “Records provided by the law firm, showed that the money, in like sum, was shared to three brothers, with Justice Ademola as one of them”. The witness said contrary to allegations, there was no evidence that Justice Ademola influenced the appointment of his wife as the Head of Service in Lagos State. Justice Okeke adjourned further hearing on the matter till Tuesday.

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