Monday, July 4, 2022

Nigerian gov’t appeals Justice Ademola’s acquittal

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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By Mustapha Usman

The federal government on Thursday filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court that cleared Justice Adeniyi Ademola and two others of corruption charges.

The court on Wednesday upheld the no case submission filed by Mr Ademola, his wife Olabowale and a senior lawyer, Joe Agi.

The judge struck out the 18-count charge preferred against the defendants after holding that the prosecution failed to prove any of the allegations despite the provisions of sections 53 and 60 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (ICPC Act).

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A presidential source, who does not want to be named told The Nation that the federal government through the ministry of Justice had also filed a fresh case in the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, against Justice Ademola and his wife for living above their means and failure to declare their assets.

He said the government had been advised to appeal the case.

“A very strange outcome indeed considering the underlying facts. It is even more strange that the trial was not allowed to continue considering the applicable statutory provisions.

“Section 53(1) of the ICPC Act raises a presumption that any gratification accepted or obtained by an accused person must have been corruptly accepted or obtained until the contrary is proved. Section 60 of the Act does not apply to the case.

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“Of interest is the decision of the learned trial judge that the offence of giving and receiving gratification was not made out by the prosecution against the defendants in the face of the evidence held in court. Prosecution witnesses gave testimony of the payment of N30 million in three tranches by Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) into the account of Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, the wife of Justice Ademola. Mr. Agi was a legal practitioner who actually had cases in the court of Justice Ademola,” the source stated.

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