Corruption: Banker says account opening requirements were waived for Ofili-Ajumogobia

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A staff of Diamond Bank, Mr Ademola Oshodi, on Monday revealed at an Ikeja High Court how some requirements were waived for the corporate account opening of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

Oshodi made this revelation at the ongoing trial of Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Obla, over alleged corruption.

They are jointly being charged with perverting the course of justice by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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Ofili-Ajumogobia is facing a 26-count charge bordering on unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption by a public officer, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.

Obla, who is also an EFCC prosecutor, is being tried for a two-count charge bordering on offering gratification of N5 million to Ofili-Ajumogobia during her service as a judge.

Both, however, denied all the charges.

The anti-graft is alleging that Ofili-Ajumogobia, while serving as a Justice of the Federal High Court, Lagos, unjustly enriched herself by illegally receiving 793,800 dollars from various sources between 2012 and 2015 in three Diamond Bank accounts.

Oshodi, a Deputy Branch Manager,while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo said:
“Hon. Ofili-Ajumogobia is the signatory to the account Nigel and Colive which is a corporate account.

“The account opening forms were filled by myself but executed and signed by Hon. Ofili-Ajumogobia, the forms were filled in my office.

“I did not meet any of the directors of the company as at the time I was opening the account.

“The company is into general business and is located at No. 18, Lai Ajayi Bembe Road, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.”

NAN recalls that on Jan. 9, Oshodi had also revealed in his evidence-in-chief that when officials from the bank inspected the business premises of Nigel and Colive, it was still under construction.

He said the non-completion of the business premises was overlooked by the bank officials because the judge was a customer.

The banker during Monday’s proceedings also told the court how cash deposits ranging from N900,000 to N8.8 million were made by him on behalf of the judge.

“I made the deposits on her behalf, I got the money from either her office, her home or from her Bureau De Change operative,” Oyedepo said.

After giving his evidence, counsel to Ajumogobia, Omotola Akanni (SAN) requested for permission to cross-examine Oshodi at the next date of adjournment.

“I hereby request for time to cross-examine the witness at the next adjourned date, I just came in from a proceeding at the Federal High Court and I need time to settle and prepare adequately.”

Justice Hakeem Oshodi, while granting the request of Akanni, said: “The court will accede to the request of the learned SAN.

“The case is hereby adjourned to March 10 for cross-examination of the prosecution witness and March 17 for continuation of trial.”

Lawyer to Obla, Mr I.A Adedipe (SAN), in his submission, also requested that the international passport of his client earlier handed over to the court as part of his bail conditions should be released to enable him travel abroad.

In his ruling, Oshodi while granting Adedipe’s request said: “Prayer One of the application before this honourable court is granted.

“The Chief Registrar shall release the passport of the second defendant to travel overseas from Feb. 5 to March 5 and return his passport to the Chief Registrar on or before March. 6.”

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