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Customs paid N12m into Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account, says witness

Customs paid N12m into Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s account, says witness
April 28
20:47 2017
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Musa Omale, a witness, in the trial of Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a judge of the federal high court in Lagos, has alleged that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) paid N12 million into the account of the judge.

Ofili-Ajumogobia has been arraigned on a 26-count charge bordering on unlawful enrichment.

Also standing trial alongside the judge is Godwin Obla, a former prosecutor of the EFCC.

Obla is facing an additional two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5 million to Ofili-Ajumogobia.

While giving his testimony at an Ikeja high court on Friday, Omale, who is an assistant comptroller of customs, said the sum was paid into an account of a company, Nigel and Colive Ltd, allegedly run by the judge.

Omale told the court that no services were rendered to warrant the payment of the said sum into the judge’s account.

According to him, the money was paid into her account on the instruction of Abdullahi Dikko, immediate past comptroller-general of customs.

“In the course of my duty in 2014, the deputy comptroller-general who I was directly working with, Mr Musa Tahir, came down from the office of comptroller-general of Customs (CGC), Mr Abdullahi Dikko,” he said.

“He gave me the account number of Nigel and Colive Ltd, telling me that the CGC said that we should liaise with the 12 commands of the customs service and that each command should pay N1million each into my bank account. Tahir told me that when I receive the money, I should transfer the whole sum into the account of Nigel and Colive.

“The instructions were carried out as directed and on July 11, 2014, the N12 million was paid in three tranches of N3million, N4million and N5million into the account of Nigel and Colive Ltd. No services were rendered to our command to warrant the payments of the funds into the account.”

Omale said he was giving his statement in court because his conscience told him to tell the truth.

“I was not harassed, coerced or intimidated by the EFCC to give my statements,” he said.

Also testifying, Robertson Emafidon, another witness, said N5 million was transferred from Obla’s United Bank of Africa (UBA) bank into the judge’s account.

“Sometime in November 2016, we received a letter from the EFCC asking us to avail them of the account opening documents and statement of account regarding the subject customer,” he said.

“I made copies of the documents, certified them as true copied, signed and forwarded them as a letter back to the EFCC. There was a debit of N5million on May 21, 2015 from the account of Obla and Co into the bank account of Nigel and Colive Ltd.

“On May 18, 2015 there was a credit of N16.5million from the account of D.S.J Integrated Services into the bank account of Obla and Co.”

After listening to submissions of the witnesses, Hakeem Oshodi, the judge, adjourned the matter till May 26 for the continuation of trial.

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