FG Re-arraigns Justice Ademola, Wife with Agi on 16-count Amended Charge

Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was Wednesday, arraigned alongside a Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, and his wife, Olubowale.
Ademola and wife have been standing trial for allegedly taking bribe to pervert justice. They have been granted bail on self recognition.
The arraignment of Agi with the couple earlier, according to the prosecution counsel, Segun Jegede, was not possible because Agi had been out of the country.
At the resumed hearing Wednesday, Federal Government, while arraigning the three, amended the initial charge against Ademola and wife.
In the amended charge, now 16 in all, Agi is accused of paying N30m in three tranches to the first defendant, in March 2015.
He is also accused of giving a BMW vehicle, worth N8.5m to the Judge, to influence his decision in court.
After the charges were read to Agi, he pleaded not guilty.
Counsel to the first and second defendants, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, prayed the court to allow the earlier bail conditions granted his clients continue since they have not defaulted.
Counsel to Agi, Jeph Njikonye, who said his client’s bail application has already been served on the prosecution, prayed the court to grant him bail, considering the fact that trial had been slated for continuation on January 16.
The prosecution counsel, however, asked the court to ensure that stringent bail conditions are imposed on Agi to forestall any attempt by the third defendant to abstain from attending his trial.
He said although he would not object to the application for bail, he was concerned about the attendance of the third defendant, as well as that of the other defendants in the trial.
Responding, Njikonye commended Jegede for his concern about the presence of the defendants in court. He cited instances where his client had demonstrated his willingness to attend trial.
Njikonye therefore prayed the court to allow his client bail, adding that the bail conditions should not be stringent as Agi is “a senior citizen, known for his high regard for the rule of law.”
Delivering the judgement, Justice Jude Okoye said the bail granted the Judge and his wife on December 13 subsists since the prosecution did not oppose the bail application.
Justice Okoye added that it is the essential duty of the court to ensure that a defendant attends trial.
He said the court will apply appropriate sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in delivering its ruling.
With the trial expected to commence on Monday, January 16, Agi was granted bail on self-recognition with the sum of N50m.
He was also ordered to deposit his international passport and other travel documents to the registry of the court within 7 days.
However, speaking with journalists after his arraignment, Agi said although he didn’t hear that the prosecution earlier planned to use him as a witness against Justice Ademola, but it would have been “unfortunate” if that had been the case.
Agi who ran for the Cross River state gubernatorial election in 2015 but lost to incumbent Ben Ayade during the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (PDP) primaries, said that it has become unfortunate that giving “a gift to a friend whose daughter is getting married” has become a crime.
Ademola and his wife, a former Head of Service in Lagos State, were first arraigned on an 11-count charge in December .
They were later granted bail on own recognisance and were required to pay N50m each as conditions for their bail.
They were also asked to submit their international passport, pending the determination of the matter.
As stated in parts of the charge against the Judge and his wife, they were indicted for allegedly conspiring to collect N30m gratification from a company belonging to Agi, Joe Agi and Associates, in March 2015.
Both defendants were also accused of committing the act of collecting the said gratification.
The offence is contrary to Section 8 (i) (a) of the corrupt practices and other related offences act and punishable under Section 8(ii) of the same section.

Author: News Editor

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