The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a remand warrant to detain Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, the embattled judge accused of anti-graft related offences, and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former prosecutor of the commission, for further investigation of the allegations against them.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Mr. Obla are to remain in EFCC’s custody for the next 14 days. A source at the EFCC said the agency might seek to extend the warrant if the investigation is uncompleted during that time. In an alternative scenario, the suspects may be arraigned before then, depending on progress made in the investigation.
Mr. Obla is accused of wiring a N5million bribe to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia. He reported to the EFCC’s office in Lagos two days ago to be interrogated on the matter.
The judge had denied the bribe allegation, stating that the sum was part payment for a real estate deal between them, a claim which contradicted that of Mr. Obla, who had told EFCC that the money was meant for some building materials.
None of them could provide any evidence to support their contradictory claim, and as the investigation has continued, Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia has reported to the EFCC every day.
Recently, SaharaReporters reported that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia took the anti-graft agency on a wild goose chase to Benin City and Asaba to show the agency a non-existent property she had claimed her mother left to her.
It was also reported that the judge’s brother, Mr. Donald Ofili, indicted the judge of asking him to lie to investigators that the $120k wired to her were proceeds of rental fees.
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had been on administrative bail since she reported herself to the EFCC’s custody after a period of playing hide-and-seek. However, on the return from the wild goose chase she led the agency on to Edo and Delta States, and the subsequent discovery of five phones she had concealed from commission officials throughout the two-day trip, the agency decided to seek revocation of her privileges, leading to the warrant for her remand.