Tuesday, December 13, 2016 10:50 pm
An Abuja High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Justice Adeniyi Ademola and wife, Olabowale, in the sum of N50 million each and adjourned trial into their matter until Jan. 18.
The two were arraigned by Federal Government on 11-count of criminal conspiracy to receive gratification in various ways, contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ademola was among the seven justices investigated after the sting operations carried out on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 by the Department of State Services (DSS).
NAN also reports that Mrs Ademola is currently the Head of Service in Lagos State.
The Abuja High Court Judge, Justice Jude Okeke, granted them bail after hearing the application of motion on notice from their counsel, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and Chief Roberts Clarke (SAN) respectively.
Okeke admitted them to bail in the sum of N50 million each on self recognition and ordered that they deposit their international passports pending the conclusion of the trial.
At the last hearing, the prosecution leader, Segun Jegede, told the court that the prosecution filed two charges.
He then applied for withdrawal of the 1st charge, saying that the 2nd charge, dated Dec. 1, was the authorised one in line with the obligation as stipulated in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
Jegede also told the court that the defendants were not served because the bailiff attempt was not successful as he was told that Ademola travelled to Lagos at that time.
He, therefore, applied to be given a date for adjournment and leave to affect a substituted serve on the defendants through their counsel as provided in Section 382(5) of the ACJA.
Jegede informed the court that Section 390 provides minimum of seven working days before the date certified on the notice.
Counsel for the defendants, Jeph Njikonye, did not oppose the applications but that the ACJA made provisions for expeditious disposal of criminal matters.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the prosecuting counsel, Jegede, urged the court to impose conditions on the bail which would make the defendants to attend to their trial.
Jegede drew the attention of the court to Section 162 of the ACJA Act 2015.
He said the defendants must not attempt to influence, interfere, intimidate the witnesses, concede or destroy evidence and should also deposit their international passports and other travelling documents.
Ikpeazu, counsel to the first defendant (justice Ademola), in his submission, drew the attention of the court to Sections 161, 167(2) and 165 of ACJA.
He said that while the prosecution granted him administrative bail based on self recognition, it still allowed him to keep his passport and urged the court to do likewise.
Ikpeazu also prayed the court to allow his client seven days in which he would deposit his passport, which the court agreed and granted the application.
Counsel for Mrs Ademola, Clarke, aligned with Ikpeazu’s submission and prayed the court to allow his client to keep her passport for she is the head of service, Lagos State, and would need it to travel around.
The prosecuting counsel, Jegede, informed the court that he wished to open the statement based on the charges, in line with day to day trial as stipulated in Section 300 of ACJA.
The counsel for defendants opposed to it, saying they were not served the opening statement and that it was done only on bench trial. =======