Witness: How millions of naira was recovered from Justice Ademola

Witness: How millions of naira was recovered from Justice Ademola

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 11:56 pm

Justice Ademola and wife trying to avoid camera on the day of their first appearance in court. Photo: FEMI IPAYE

Justice Ademola and wife trying to avoid camera on the day of their first appearance in court. Photo: FEMI IPAYE

The second prosecution witness Mr Ike Onuoha, told an Abuja High Court on Tuesday how the Department State Services made startling recoveries from Justice Adeniyi Ademola’s house in Abuja,

Ademola, his wife, Olabowale, and Joe Aji (SAN) were being tried by the Federal Government for alleged intent to receive gratification

Onuoha, an officer of the DSS,  led the search team that conducted the search at The Ademola’s house.

Earlier, first witness, Ifeoma Ofornagolu, had told the court under cross examination by Onyechi  Ikpeazu, that she spoke with Aji on two occasions.

The first was when he asked her if she would be in Calabar for the carnival of that year, and the second was after the payment for the purchase of the car for Ademide .

“I  met Ademide personally during our presale talks at our showroom at Victoria Island, Lagos. I asked him who Aji was, and he said his father’s lawyer.”

 Under cross examination by Clarke, the witness said that the totality of the transaction was made by Ademola and I spoke to Aji on phone for the payment.

“I had a presale talk with Ademide before the car was sold0 and said he wanted a regular car and we qualify the buyer based on his requirement, his budget and need.”

Ofornagolu said she could not determine where Aji was speaking from during re-examination by Jegede.

Ikpeazu objected to the question, saying that it did not arise from the cross examination)

Onuoha in his evidence in chief said on Oct. 7, himself and his team was instructed to carry out a search in the house of the first defendant.

“We were briefed based on some petitions and information related to incriminating act.“

He said it was an eight-man team, l did not know the first defendant, adding they arrived at his residence at Apo, Abuja, and there was power failure.

The witness said that they met the gateman who later called the cook named Ken.

Ken, he said, told them that the judge was not in the house after an introduction and our mission.

Onuoha said that they knew the judge was in the house and had to forced the pedestrian gate open when they were denied entrance with coral bars.

The witness said Ken called the first defendant severally but he refused to pick and later sent text message that he was not in town and after repeated calls he switched off his phone.

“We had no alternative than to force the main gate open when we were not given the keys. We checked all the rooms until we got to the master bedroom.

“When we eventually saw him, I introduced myself and our mission and showed him the search warrant.

Ademola called his lawyer as he requested on the phone and he came, introduced himself as Joe Agi (SAN) and he went upstairs to speak with the first defendant.

“When he came down he asked us to carry on with our search. We started on the ground floor and met a locked door but were not provided with the keys.

“We forced open the door and saw a locked  wardrobe  and forced it open and we found  a bag containing  N39.1 million , 2 pump action riffle  and 35 life ammunition, a flash  drive.”

Onuoha said in another locked room they discovered a black and white medium sized bag containing N8 .5 million in N1000 notes.

He said at the master bedroom  they discovered from a wardrobe  N6 million,  121, 279 Dollars,  400, 400 Euro, 80 pound,  1, 010 Indian Rupees,  six ATM cards,  8 cheque  books, 8 deposit slips of various  banks,  2 firearms  licenses one with names  A.I Mohammed and Adeniyi Ademola  and also an IPad.

Onuoha  said the first  defendant was watching  them and after  the search,  inventory  was taken  and entered  in the search  warrant  signed  by himself  and Justice  Ademola.

 He said that the judge was then invited to accompany them to the DSS office at Asokoro with the recovered items.

He said that Aji did not follow them rather he said he would come later.

On tendered the search warrant and it was admitted as Exhibit B.

Onuoha under cross examination by Ikpeazu said that he was not aware of the presence of any DSS officer in the house.

He said four of the members of the team were armed with long riffle (assault riffle called Tabor for precaution.)

He said that he heard on the media that DSS invaded some other judges’ houses and that he was aware of their own assignment only.

Onuoha said there were no bullet holes on the doors.

He said nobody told him that anybody was looking for his IPad and flash drive and that the Police discharges the duties of registering and licensing of firearms.

He said he did not ask why one of the licence bore the name of A.I Mohammed who is also a justice of the federal high court.

The witness said he did not see the second defendant, Olabowale Ademola in the house during cross examination by the second defendant’s counsel Chief Robert Clarke (SAN)

When cross examined by counsel for Aji, Mr Jeph Njikonye, Onuoha said that he did  not know the informants or petitioners and that the information was classified.

He stressed that the source of information was classified and that they invited the defendant in a civilised manner to the DSS office.

Justice Jude Okeke adjourned further hearing  till Jan. 18 at the instance of the prosecution. (NAN)

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