The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Godwin Obla, for allegedly involving themselves in unlawful enrichment and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
They were re-arraigned before Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court sitting at Ikeja the amendment to the charges preferred against them by the Commission.
They were first docked in November 2016 on a 30-count charge to which they pleaded not guilty.
But they were re-arraigned on a 31-count charge of unlawful enrichment and conspiracy on Friday.
In the fresh charges, EFCC accused Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia of receiving a total of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015 “so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income.”
On the other hand, the anti-graft agency accused Obla of offering N5m as gratification to the judge so as to allegedly help him pervert the course of justice.
The offenses were said to be contrary to sections 64(1), 82(a) and 69(1) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the fresh charges.
Immediately after their plea was taken, the 12th prosecution witness, Abdullahi Lawal, an investigator of the anti-graft agency, continued his testimony before the court.
Mr. Lawal, who was led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, pointed out three deposits – N4m, N3m and 5m – made into the account of Nigel and Colive Nigeria Limited, a company allegedly belonging to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.
The deposits, he said, were made on July 11, 2014, by an officer of Nigeria Customs Service identified as Omali Musa.