The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, arraigned Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, SAN, before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on an 18-count charge bordering on breach of trust, false statement and unlawful enrichment.
The first defendant, Ofili-Ajumogobia had been arraigned on April 18, 2019, in spite of the absence of the second defendant, Obla, who was charged alongside with her.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Hon. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, SAN, on or about the 21st day of May, 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to indirectly conceal the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) in the Diamond Bank account of Nigel & Colive Ltd., which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: unlawful enrichment.”
Another count reads: “That you, Hon. Justice Rita Ngozi Ofili-Ajumogobia, on or about the 11th day of July, 2014 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, indirectly concealed the total sum of N12,000,000.00 (Twelve Million Naira) in the Diamond Bank account of Nigel and Colive Ltd., opened and operated by you, which sum you reasonably ought to have known, forms parts proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust.”
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when read to them.
In view of their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the second defendant, Obla, in prison pending the determination of the case.
However, counsel to the second defendant, Chief Ferdinand Obi, SAN, made an oral application, urging the court to admit his client to bail on self-recognizance.
In his response, Oyedepo stated that “the issue of bail regarding the second defendant is left at the discretion of the court.”