SAN at large as EFCC re-arraigns dismissed judge Ajumogobia
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Godwin Obla on Thursday failed to turn up in court for his arraignment for alleged money laundering.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him along with dismissed Federal High Court judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
When the case was called for the defendants’ arraignment before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Obla was absent.
Prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo said efforts to reach him failed and that his phones were switched off.
He said Obla’s lawyer could not also confirm his whereabouts.
Oyedepo urged the court to allow Ofili-Ajumogobia take her plea alone pending when Obla is produced.
The court granted the prayer.
Ofili-Ajumogobia pleaded not guilty to an 18-count charge.
Her re-arraignment followed her arrest after the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja struck out a previous charge against her on Tuesday for lack of jurisdiction.
Obla, a former EFCC prosecutor, is the second defendant in the charge numbered FHC/139C/19.
EFCC said they conspired on May 21, 2014, to indirectly conceal N5million in the Diamond Bank account of Nigel & Colive Ltd, which they “reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: unlawful enrichment”.
The alleged offence is contrary sections 15 (2) (a) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 15 (3).
Ajumogobia was also accused of indirectly concealing N12million in the same account.
EFCC, in another count, said she made a false statement to an officer that the money was payment for a property sale.
Justice Aikawa is presently writing a ruling on the former judge’s bail application.