Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday reacted through a lawyer in his defence team, Mr. Jeph Njikonye, to the charges of receiving gratification filed against him and his wife, Olabowale, who is the Head of Service of Lagos State.
Njikonye, who spoke with our correspondent on Tuesday, said the 15 counts filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday, were bogus and trumped-up, adding that the judge was eager to defend himself in court.
He added that the prosecutors went so “low” to impute that that the judge received gratification from his uncle’s law firm, G.T.J Ademola & Co., mentioned in the charges.
The lawyer said the Federal Government only filed the charges to play to the gallery and to justify the “unconstitutional” raid of the houses of the judges arrested by the Department of State Service.
The lawyer said, “We have taken a preliminary look at the charges and we can confidently say that they are bogus and trumped up to play to the gallery of the public. It is also an attempt to justify their unconstitutional raid on the houses of the judges in the wee hours of the day.
“Unfortunately, the populace will not have the opportunity to be in court to see how unsubstantiated and how woolly those charges are. There is no iota of substance in the charges.
“All of these are politically-motivated.
“They are trumped-up to denigrate and tarnish the name of the judge and the name of the Ademola family.
“They also went so low to impute that the judge received gratification from his uncle, who runs the G.T.J Ademola & Co.
“We will be eager to get to the bridge and cross it.”
Njikonye also described the judge’s wife as a woman of integrity who had no knowledge of the cases handled by her husband.
He said the government only “roped” her in the charges to play to the sentiment of the public.
“In playing to the sentiment of the public, they disingeniously roped in the wife of the judge.
“As Head of Service of Lagos State, the wife of the judge does not reside in Abuja.
“She is a woman of sterling character and who does not know anything about the cases her husband presides over.”
The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on Monday filed 15 counts in the suit with number, FCT/CR/21/2016, against the Justice Ademola and his wife.
The prosecution accused Ademola and his wife of “corruptly” receiving a total sum of N248,101,300 and $520,000 as gratification from law firms and others between 2013 an 2016.
Justice Ademola was among the judges, including two Justices of the Supreme Court – Justices Sylvester and Inyang Okoro – arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Service between October 7 and 8 on allegations corruption.
The Federal Government had already on November 8, 2016 charged Justice Ngwuta before the Federal High Court, Abuja, on charges of money laundering and passport infraction relating to age falsification and obtaining of multiplicity of passports.
Justice Okoro has however not been charged.