Justice Ademola’s Trial Adjourned To February 20 And 21

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Malabu Oil To FGA High Court in Abuja has adjourned the trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola to February 20 and 21, 2017.

This is following an application for adjournment by one of the defence lawyers, Mr Robert Clarke.

At the resumed hearing of the case of alleged corruption preferred against Justice Ademola who is a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Mr Robert Clarke prayed the indulgence of the court to enable him attend to his health.

The Prosecution team led by Mr Segun Jegede did not oppose the application as he informed the court that a member of his defense team, is currently on admission at an undisclosed hospital.

Presiding Judge, Jude Okeke subsequently adjourned the case for continuation of the trial.

Justice Ademola’s Earnings Disclosed 

On February 10, 2017, the Chief Accountant of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mr Awoyemi Adisa, told an FCT High Court that the annual basic salary of Justice Adeniyi Ademola is about 6.3 million Naira, excluding allowances and other emoluments.

Mr Adisa, who was testifying as the 13th prosecution witness, told the court that Ademola earns a basic monthly salary of 528,638 Naira, alongside other allowances.

According to him, Justice Ademola gets 305,000 Naira for monthly welfare, a 5.4 million Naira furniture allowance paid every four years, and estacode for overseas medical check-up which he said amounted to 6,300 dollars for 2016 alone.

Four more witnesses were also called by the prosecution on Thursday as the trial continued.

Among the witnesses was the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Federal High Court who tendered certified true copies of records of proceedings relevant to the matter.

Ademola’s Trial: 30 Million Naira Allegedly Transferred To Wife’s Account – Witnesses

Adeniyi Ademola, CourtThe trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife Olabowale Ademola, and a senior lawyer, Mr Joe Agi, continued on Wednesday in Abuja with the prosecution calling three more witnesses.

Justice Ademola, a Federal High Court judge, and the two other defendants are standing trial on charges of corruption.

Three witnesses gave accounts of how 30 million naira was allegedly transferred from Mr Agi’s corporate account into the personal account of Mrs Ademola.

The witnesses, who are staff of Zenith and Guarantee Trust Bank, presented documents to show the transfer of funds from Mr Agi’s account to Mrs Olabowale’s account.

‎In her testimony, the first witness, Mrs Fatima Sani, purported that Justice Ademola demanded 25 million from her through a proxy while her husband, Dr. Sani Shaibu, a former Director of Pension Accounts in the office of the Head of Service, was standing trial before him in a case of missing 5.7 billion naira pension funds.

The two other witnesses from Zenith and Guarantee Trust Bank also testified to the financial transactions between Mr Agi and Mrs Ademola.

The lawyer to Mrs Ademola, Mr Robert Clarke, consequently dismissed the allegations against his client, saying the prosecution has failed to establish any case against her.

The prosecution, Mr Segun Jegede, however, insisted that he has six more witnesses to call in order to prove his case against the accused persons.

Having taken the testimonies of the three prosecution witnesses, Justice Jude Okeke adjourned the case to February 8, 9 and 10.

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga – Robert Clarke

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga - Robert ClarkeVeteran lawyer, Mr Robert Clarke, believes the federal government and not the Senate or the DSS should be blamed for the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Clarke opined that the allegations against Mr Magu, upon which the Senate based its refusal of his nomination must have been known to the executive.

“There is no way DSS will just send a report directly to the Senate” he said, arguing that this information “passed through a conduit pipe created by the executive”.

He wondered why the Executive still went ahead to forward Magu’s name as nominee for the position when it must have received information that put his integrity under questioning.

“At that stage, why did they not hold on, call a meeting and call Magu himself and say ‘look we are going to withdraw your name’?

The Senate’s decision to reject Magu has generated controversy and Clarke believes that the embarrassment could have been avoided if the government had acted on the information and consequently prevented it from reaching the Senate.

He, however, believes that the revelation might not be a valid basis upon which corruption cases handled under Mr Magu’s leadership of the EFCC should be brought into disrepute.

The Senate has come out to say that it has not totally rejected Mr Ibrahim Magu but has only sent documents back to the executive. This Mr Clarke described as a case of “half a dozen and six”.

“Whichever language you use, it amounts to rejection. If I send a paper to you for approval and you say ‘I’m not rejecting your paper but I am not going to approve it. I will send it back to you’, what does that mean?

“It’s just the same thing. They have rejected him; let us be honest about it,” he said.

 

ASUU Strike: A Case Of Extreme Views – Clarke

The turn taken by the face-off between the Nigerian government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a case of extreme views, leading to nowhere, a legal practitioner has said.

The government, in what has been described as a ‘military statement’, on Thursday, directed all vice chancellors and academic staff of federal universities to “resume on or before December 4 or automatically cease to be staff of the universities”.

Mr. Robert Clarke said that the statement showed that both parties did not reach a conclusive agreement in the last meeting between the union and the President, Goodluck Jonathan.

“They gave the impression to the whole world that they have reached an agreement. There is something wrong with the agreement. They are not ordinary workers and for them to make a somersault something must be wrong somewhere,” he said on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday.

After the meeting with the president, there were indications that the union may call off the strike, but the union, some days back, wrote to the Federal Government, demanding that the payment of the arrears of four months must be guaranteed before they resume.

Mr Clarke blamed both the government and the striking union for not reaching a conclusive agreement in the meeting, describing the continuing strike as a disgrace.

“For the union members to have agreed to resume without taking up such a vital issue as arrears of salaries tells much about their leadership

“We are in a democracy and the right to go on strike is guaranteed by the constitution. And it does not state that if a worker goes on strike, he forfeits the salaries for the period he is on strike,” he explained.

Not Frightened By Threat

The lawyer stressed that the students were the ones suffering and emphasised the need for both parties to stop what he described as a ‘hide-and-seek’ game and come out plain with what their problems were.

“Four months in the life of a student is almost like a session,” Mr. Clarke said.

The striking union, insisting that the strike would continue, said that the government’s threat to sack the lecturers if they refuse to resume on December 4 would not frighten them.

A former leader of the Trade Union, Peter Esele, said that the sack threat was unrealistic and would cause brain drain if implemented.

“If you sack all the lecturers, where will you get the ones that will fill the positions? This will further bridge the divide between the government and ASUU,” he stressed.

The union embarked on a nationwide strike on July 1, demanding improved funding of the institutions to meet international standard.

One of the Nigerian government’s transformation agenda is the commitment to improving the standard of education but critics have said that the development in the education sector showed no sign of commitment form the government.