The Punch is reporting that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed 30 charges against a Federal High Court judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia; and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Obla, over a said $793,800 passed through the judge’s domiciliary accounts between 2012 and 2015.
The judge allegedly used the money to buy a house in London. The source revealed that the accounts have been frozen so far and that an arraignment for the two suspects is expected before a Lagos State High Court this week.
Five of the charges are centred on an alleged N5m bribe given to the judge by the senior advocate while the remaining 25 charges are on the huge amounts that passed through the accounts of Ofili-Ajumogobia and her alleged inability to explain her source of wealth.
The other charges filed against the judge border on forgery, lying, unlawful enrichment and other related offences.
Ofili-Ajumogobia and Obla have been in the custody of the EFCC for about 10 days following revelations that the senior advocate paid N5m into her account in 2015 at a time she was presiding over one of his cases.
While Ofili-Ajumogobia claimed the money was a deposit for a N40m property she sold to Obla, the senior advocate said the money was a payment for building materials.
Obla also insisted that he did not know that the account belonged to the judge.
Some of the charges read in part, “That you, Hon. Justice Ngozi Ofili-Ajumogobia, and Godwin Obla (SAN), on or about May 21, 2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired with each other to pervert the course of justice in charge number FHC/L/C/482C/10 with the sum of N5,000,000.
“That you, Godwin Obla (SAN), on or about May 21, 2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, intentionally gave the sum of N5,000,000 to Hon. Justice Rita Ngozi Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court directly from your Obla and Company account (1015319084) domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc in order that the said judge acts in the exercise of her official duties.”
Investigations by the EFCC further revealed that about $793,800 passed through the judge’s accounts and she allegedly was not able to explain to detectives how she came about the sums.