The federal government of Nigeria today filed an appeal against last Wednesday’s ruling of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja which dismissed the 18 corruption and gratification charges against Justice Adeniyi Francis Adetokunbo Ademola, his wife Olabowale Toluwatope Ademola, and Joe Agi, a senior lawyer.
It is asking the Court of Appeal to allow the appeal and overrule the decision of Honourable Justice Jude Okeke and remit the case back to the High Court for reassignment and defense.
The government held that Justice Okeke erred in law on the following grounds:
When he proceeded to evaluate the evidence and ascribed probative value to the evidence of the prosecution witnesses in his ruling on the no case submission when he ought to have considered at that stage, whether a prima facie case has been made out by the prosecution against the Defendants.
When he held that the offense in law when he held that the offense of giving and receiving gratification was not made out by the prosecution against the defendants despite the overwhelming evidence exhibits and testimonies of prosecution witnesses laid before the court in this regard.
When it held that sections 53 and 60 of the Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Act, 200 does not apply in the case when it is well settled that the gifts received by the 2nd Defendant, Olabowale Toluwatope Ademola from Joe Agi (SAN) were customary in nature and therefore not gratification.
The government also affirmed that the ruling cannot be supported by the weight of evidence, adding that the trial judge evaluated evidence and ascribed probative value to it and went but failed to look at the arguments of the prosecution.
The appeal was filed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mohammed U. Esu in three separate notices of appeal for each defendant. He further stated that the government will file more grounds of appeal when it receives a copy of the ruling.