The Federal Government, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Monday, indicated its intention to amend the charges it instituted against a Federal High Court judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, and his wife, Olubowale.
The lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Segun Jegede, told the trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja, that he intended to join a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Joe Agi, as a defendant.
The Federal Government had, on December 13, 2016, arraigned Justice Ademola and his wife on 11 counts, including being in possession of firearms without a valid licence, conspiracy to receive gratification and receiving gratification of N30m from Joe Agi and Associates, between March 11 and March 26, 2015.
The judge, on the date of arraignment, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N50m each, totalling N100m for the two of them.
The judge then adjourned till January 18 for the commencement of trial.
But before the next adjourned date, Justice Ademola filed an application seeking an accelerated hearing of the trial.
During the Monday’s proceedings, the lead prosecution counsel, urged the court to give him time to file amended charges against the accused persons, including Agi.
Justice Okeke adjourned the matter till Wednesday to enable the prosecution to file the amended charges and arraign the three accused persons.
In the current charges preferred against Justice Ademola and his wife, the accused persons were accused of conspiracy and receiving gratification of N30m from Joe Agi and Associates, between March 11 and March 26, 2015.
The prosecution also accused the judge of “dealing with property subject matter of an offence” by transferring N85m and N90m, totalling N175m to Franco Dan Parker on February 24, 2014.
Both offences are said to be contrary to Section 24 of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000, and punishable under the same law.
The judge was also accused of attempting to receive gratification in the sum of N25m from one Sani Shaibu Teidi on February 21, 2014.
He was also said to have on January 5, 2015, in his capacity as a public servant, “corruptly received from Joe Odey Agi a BMW Saloon 320i valued at N8,500,000 through your son, Ademide Ademola, as gratification in the exercise of your official functions as the judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria”.
The offences relating to gratification are said to be contrary to section 8(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000.
The judge was also said to have on October 7, 2016, had in his possession “one pump action rifle with serial number AVAR MAGNUM 6084 without a valid licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.”
He was said to have, on the same date of October 7, 2016, had in his possession another pump action rifle with serial number AVAR MAGNUM 6284 without a valid licence.
In the last count, he was accused of having in his possession on the same date of October 7, 2014, “35 rounds of live ammunition (cartridge) without a valid licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, 2004.”
The defendants were scheduled to be arraigned on Monday but they were absent because they had not been served with the charges.