Nigeria: How Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia feigned sickness to evade interrogation-Witness
While Ofili-Ajumogobia was alleged to have received a sum of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015, Obla allegedly offered the sum of N5m as gratification to Ofili-Ajumogobia so as to pervert the course of justice.
The offences are contrary to Sections 64(1), 82(a) and 69(1) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.
At the resumed hearing on Friday, Sholanke, who is the Medical Director, Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, told the court that he first met the first defendant, Ofili-Ajumogobia on October 7, 2016 when she came to the hospital to complain that she was sick.
He also told the court that he admitted the first defendant for further medical check so as to know the cause of her illness and also for bed rest.
“She was admitted as a private patient in a private ward, as she was accorded the position of a ‘Very Important Person’ (VIP); and she was given a VIP procedural treatment”, the witness said.
Giving further testimony, he told the court that medications were administered on the first defendant and was also seen by a cardiologist.
“She was discharged on October 13, 2016 with a sick leave paper for a week given to her so that she could rest at home”, he added.
Led by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness further said that about 7.00pm on October 19, 2016, he got a call from the hospital while he was home that some EFCC operatives were in the hospital.
He explained further: “Not quite long after the call came in from the hospital, I received another call from a senior operative and a lead investigator in the case, Mr. Lawal, saying that they were in the hospital to confirm whether Justice Ajumogobia was on admission or not, and I told him that she had been discharged.
“Some hours after I spoke with Mr. Lawal on the phone, Justice Ajumogobia called me to say that she was not feeling better, even with her medications.
“So, I told her to go back to the hospital for admission. I told her that I would come and see her the following day.
“Meanwhile, as at the time Justice Ajumogobia called me, EFCC operatives had already occupied the hospital and were there waiting”.
During cross- examination by counsel to the first defendant, Wale Akoni (SAN), the witness told the court that he was detained by the Commission for one night for what he described as “obstruction of Justice.”
He, however, told the court that the Commission did not have the intention of detaining him, but it happened because the officer who was supposed to sign in the place of the acting Chairman of the EFCC was not available.
The defence counsel also submitted that there were records of patients before and after October 19, 2016, the day EFCC operatives allegedly occupied the hospital and demanded to know whether Ajumogobia was admitted or not.
The proceedings, however, took another turn when the defence counsel told the court that the records for that day did not reflect all the patients who were on admission.
“My Lord, for this reason, it was not shown in the record that my client was on admission, contrary to what the witness said.
In his response, the witness said that the only case that was not included in the record list on that day was that of a patient who was brought in the midnight as emergency.
The prosecution counsel could not close his case on Friday owing to the absence of his only remaining witness.
He, therefore, asked the court for another opportunity to bring the last witness to court on the next adjourned date.
Also, an application was moved by the counsel to the first defendant, which sought the temporary release of his client’s international passport for four weeks, so as to allow her renew the international passport.
Justice Oshodi granted the application on the conditions that “the international passport deposited with the Chief Registrar of the court shall be released for two weeks and both the old and new international passports shall be returned to the Chief Registrar on or before June 25, 2018.”
Justice Oshodi adjourned the case to September 14, 2018.
Offa Bank robbery: Coalition gives Buhari June 12 deadline to resign
***vows to occupy N’Assembly if he refuses to quit
A coalition of civil organisations on Friday demanded the immediate resignation of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, following reports that he was allegedly involved in the recent robbery of some commercial banks in Offa, Kwara State.
The organisation also premised its demand on Saraki’s non-declaration of his assets and killings of over 33 persons in Kwara State by political thugs.
“We hereby affirm that Dr Saraki forthwith resigns as president of the Senate or risk impeachment. Failure on the above before June 12 2018, we shall mobilize Nigerians across the country to occupy the National Assembly until Saraki is impeached for gross abuse of office and financial impropriety as well as criminal charges pending against him”, the group stated.
The Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance and Democracy (CCSGGD) also recalled that Saraki’s corruption trial with the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, over his alleged non-assets declaration was still ongoing.
The CCSGGD insisted that the path to honour for the Senate President was to step aside to clear his name.
The Convener of the group, Alhaji Adamu Kabiru, who led other groups comprising labour unions, trade unions and Joint Action Committee (JAC), at a press conference in Jos, challenged members of the 8th Senate to do the needful by immediately impeaching Saraki as Senate President should he fail to resign.
According to him, such development would bring sanity and restore the lost glory to the upper chamber of the National Assembly in particular and Nigeria in general.
The group which regretted that Nigeria had become a laughing stock in the international community because of the many corruption cases allegedly involving Saraki, accused him of seeking revenge against President Muhammadu Buhari and some appointees in the crime and anti-corruption agencies.
Kabiru accused Saraki of leading the National Assembly to threaten President Buhari with impeachment following his latest problem with the Nigeria Police.
The group also accused him of being “desperate to get down with our country”, saying “it is imperative to take back our country using the only legitimate means of impeachment of Saraki as the Senate President.”
The text of the press conference reads: “For Saraki to threaten President Buhari with impeachment only because the police rightly invited him is the height of arrogance, and abuse of office and disrespect for the rule of law.
“It is therefore, our considered view that the President of the Senate be impeached immediately and until this done, he will continue to hold to ransom the entire country and her development.
“We are gathered here to affirm that for good governance and democracy to thrive, Saraki must excuse the Senate as their president and face his multiple criminal cases ranging from, financial crimes, to abuse of office,robbery, non declaration of assets and sponsorship of militia in Kwara State .
“I am constrained to bring to your notice that the police has invited the Senate President to offer clarifications on the level of his involvement with the Offa robbery and allegations of arms purchase to militia .
“To this end, how then will Dr Saraki continue to stay in office as President of the Senate? It has never been this bad for our country, “Alhaji Kabiru, who led Mrs Sharon Ngozi Okpara from trade unions, Bisong Jonathan
“To worsen the situation and to the greatest dismay and disappointment of Nigerians, the Senate President a few days ago masterminded a joint sitting of the National Assembly to muster and nurture the impeachment of President Buhari. He led the joint sitting to reel out a number of conditions for the president to avert imminent impeachment, this is the height of folly, immaturity, mischief, treason, callous and gross abuse of office by Dr Saraki.
“Interestingly, all this shenanigans are made possible by virtue of his influence as President of the Senate.
“I am inclined to have it on good authority that the Dr Saraki has plans to use the instrumentality of the National Assembly to become the president of the Republic. This ambition has been made public and needs no further microscopic lens for confirmation.
“Saraki withdraws and apologizes to Nigerians for the fraudulent and selfish resolutions reeled out at the joint sitting of the National Assembly for self seeking benefits.
“Saraki immediately appear before the police to be charged to court for his involvement with the loss of 39 lives in the Offa banks robbery.
“The Inspector-General of Police immediately commence the process of arraigning Dr Saraki before a competent court to defend his criminal allegations. President Buhari should not honour any of the resolutions of the joint sitting of the National Assembly.
“President Buhari should prevail on the police and security agencies to thoroughly investigate Dr Saraki, failure to to so, we shall mobilize Nigerians to occupy the Aso rock villa on June 12.2018 until Saraki steps aside from the seat of the President of the Senate.
“The President should henceforth seize further negotiations with Dr Saraki and his gang of saboteurs as this act of statemanship from the president is emboldening him to take the country for his father’s estate.
“We are resolved on a petition to the ECOWAS parliament, European Union, UK parliament, US Congress and United Nations to beware of Saraki and his cohorts.
“We are committed on peacefully occupying the embassies of five most powerful countries in Nigeria, namely, USA, UK, China, Russia , Japan in protest until Dr Saraki is impeached for gross abuse of office and financial impropriety as well as criminal charges pending against him.”
“We hold all these demands to be self evident that we are all owners of this republic and on no account should it be sublet to one single individual as it is currently within the grip of Dr Abubarka Bukola Saraki.
“This is a man who is the number three citizen of our country, he is aware of the core and prime policy direction of this administration:anti corruption fight. But for his indepth desire to sabotage President Buhari administration, he has turned the other way. Everyday a senator involves in criminality, the president of the Senate comes readily to his defense.
“Only recently, the Senate President instigated some of his loyal colleagues to harass the person of the Inspector General of Police, and denigrate the entire institution of the police , under Saraki’s leadership. There’s been a ban on confirmation of nominees from the executive, under his leadership, certain circumstances and compromises must be advanced otherwise, no confirmation, no legislative duty including budgeting is done.
“This is evident in the inability of the National Assembly to pass this year’s budget . This is sadly the situation of Nigeria and their country with Saraki as Senate President.
“As if this retinue of garbage was not enough, only a few weeks ago, the country was greeted with the news of the most gruesome robbery attack in the last 20 years, where over 39 Nigerians lost their lives including police officers and pregnant women, in Offa town of Kwara State. Sadly, very sadly enough, investigations of the Nigerian police had established links of the arrested gang members with Saraki.
“Our legislature has never had it this bad. The leadership of the 8th Senate purely is in the hands of a wrong man who is obviously on the wrong ark and path to self destruction and sedition.
“Our democracy is under attack and imminent destruction. Our democracy in fact has been hijacked by a few privileged persons for personal political and economic gains to the detriment of the entire country.
” This act of anti social and political treason and moral destruction sadly is championed by no other Nigerian but the President of the Senate, Dr Abubarkar Bukola Saraki.
” We are saddened as Nigerians because this is the same man who had his father benefit maximally from democracy and her dividends.
“This is the same man who had his father serve as senate leader , this is the same man who had benefited from stable democracy as a two term governor , senator and now Senate President.
“Indeed, if there’s anyone who should uphold the tenets of democracy in this country, it should be Dr Saraki. But unfortunately, he has chosen the inglorious part of leading a pack against the whole country just to massage his ego and serve his own selfish purpose.
“Of course , a man who could rebel against his own father can rebel against anyone, but he needs to understand that Nigeria is bigger than the Saraki estate bequeathed to him by his late father.
“He needs to understand, that people have paid the supreme price for democracy to be introduced and established in this country.
“Saraki needs to appreciate that he has been allowed for too long to reap from a system that he has not added any value over the decades..
“Quite frankly, I am inclined to state here that the Saraki family as led by the current Senate President is among one of the most greatest benefactors of democracy in Nigeria. To understand why he can not appreciate this with a little dose of patriotism is a puzzle.
“To this end, we are gathered here to chronicle the moral epilepsy of the Senate President before Nigerians so as to justify the call for his imminent removal from office as Senate President so that democracy will be salvaged in our great country .
“We are also delighted to highlight the selfishness of the Senate President and his blackmail against the country using his position as President of the Senate.”