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SAN Facing Corruption Charges Still Handling EFCC Cases

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Obla, who was arraigned on Monday alongside Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia at an Ikeja High Court over alleged corruption is still handling corruption cases for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, The Whistler has learnt.

Obla, a prosecutor for the EFCC, and Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Obla was charged with on a two count of offering gratification in the sum of N5 million to Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, a public official during her service as a judge.

He was also jointly charged with Ofili-Ajumogobia on a two-count charge of perverting the course of justice by the anti-graft agency. Charges they pleaded not guilty to.

Lawyer to Mr. Obla, Ifedayo Adedipe, while arguing for bail for his client noted that Obla is a prosecutor for the EFCC, therefore poised no flight risk.

“The second defendant has been going and coming to the EFCC for some sister cases and he has deposited his passport with them.

“The applicant is not a flight risk, he went to the USA with the knowledge of the EFCC and he returned his passport to them, he is not a flight risk.

“There is no instance where he has interfered with the investigations of the EFCC. He is one of them; instead of paying him for the cases he has won for them, they charge him to court.

“I plead with your Lordship, Obla is a respectable member of the bar, a prosecutor for the EFCC and I urge your Lordship to grant him bail.’’

But the EFCC through its counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo countered: “In paragraph six, we gave details about how the defendant interfered with our investigations and tried to influence witnesses who were Ademola Oshodi and Ogor Okafor.

“The statement of Oshodi on Nov. 1 says and I quote ‘Justice Rita called me to meet her at the Church of the Assumption, Falomo, to tell me how I should answer the EFCC questions.’

“I urge your Lordship to refuse this application and grant accelerated hearing,” Oyedepo prayed.

In his ruling, Justice Oshodi noted that though the offences the duo were charged with were serious, the offences were bailable and as a result of their status in society, they poised no flight risk.

“The defendants are hereby granted N20 million bail on self-recognition and they shall forfeit their international passports,” the judge ordered.