Ademola Oshodi, a branch manager at Skye Bank Plc., and prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today gave contradictory testimony while being cross-examined by Wale Akonni, a defense counsel for Justice Rita Ngozi Ofili-Ajumogobia. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial for judicial corruption, specifically for accumulating a stupendous wealth through corrupt practices as a judge.
Earlier during the trial before Justice Hakeem Oshodi at the Ikeja branch of the Lagos State High Court, Mr. Oshodi had testified that, as a matter of bank policy, individuals may not deposit more than ten thousand US dollars per day. However, Mr. Akonni produced evidence that, at different times, Mr. Oshodi allowed Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia to make deposits exceeding ten thousand dollars.
Mr. Oshodi confirmed that, on March 29, 2014 and June 2, 2014, he had deposited $150, 000 and $70,000 respectively into the defendant’s account.
In a bid to clear the contradiction, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel for EFCC, asked to re-examine the witness. When asked why he made a deposit more than $10,000 for the embattled judge, Mr. Oshodi declared that the bank policy also allowed that.
Meanwhile, there was mild drama during the cross-examination when counsel to the first defendant alerted the court that the witness had come into the court with a tape recorder. Mr. Oshodi denied the accusation and submitted himself to be searched. The trial went on without any more attention to the accusation.
Also, Mr. Oyedepo called his second witness, Ogo Okafor, a relationship manager at Access Bank Plc. Shortly after the examination commenced, Mr. Oyedepo sought to tender a statement written by Okafor as evidence.
Defense counsel Akonni, however, raised an objection, declaring that part of the statement was different from what the prosecution provided in the proof of evidence. He argued that admitting the written statement in evidence would amount to ambushing him and his client.
Justice Oshodi overruled his objection and asked the prosecution to continue with the witness. In a short ruling, the judge remarked that the document was relevant to the matter and admissible according to the law.
When it came time for Mr. Akonni to cross-examine the second witness, he asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to certify a copy of the witness’s statement. The EFCC’s counsel objected to his application for adjournment, but the trial judge overruled his objection. Justice Hakeem Oshodi then adjourned the trial till March 17th when the EFCC’s witness will undergo cross-examination.