There was pin-drop silence at a Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja when a witness yesterday testified that a President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer paid N.5m to Justice Adeniyi Ademola in 2015 for his daughter’s wedding
Justice Ademola of a Federal High Court is under trial along with his wife, Olabowale and another lawyer, Mr Joe Agi, SAN, for alleged corruption related offenses.
The Buhari lawyer is Mr. Kola Awodein, SAN, who was part of the defense team in the certificate saga faced by Buhari as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, before the March 28, 2015 presidential election. .
According to the witness, Mr. Babatunde Adepoju who is a Department of State Services investigator, Mr. Agi in the course of investigation had told the DSS that a President Awodein paid N500,000 to Ademola in 2015 at the time the judge was presiding over Buhari’s certificate case.
Adepoju said Agi claimed that the money was not meant to be a bribe but a gift for the wedding of the judge’s daughter.
Justice Ademola, Olabowale and Agi, are being jointly prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on charges of corruption specifically detailed to include allegations that ‘on January 5, 2015, in his capacity as a public servant, Justice Ademola “corruptly received” from Agi a BMW Saloon 320i valued at N8.5m through his son, Ademide Ademola, as gratification in the exercise of his official functions as a judge.’
Justice Ademola is also charged of receiving, through his wife, gratification of N30m in three installments of N10m each from Agi between March 11 and March 26, 2015.
Under cross-examination, Adepoju confirmed that Agi had explained under interrogation that the N30m he paid into Olabowale’s account was the money contributed by his and Justice Ademola’s mutual friends for the judge’s daughter’s wedding.