N500,000 Buhari Gave to Justice Ademola in 2015 Was Gift Not Bribe

A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Tuesday was told that the N500,000 President Muhammadu Buhari gave Justice Adeniyi Ademola in 2015 when he (Buhari) had a pending case before the High Court Judge was a gift and not bribery.
Joel Agi, who is being prosecuted alongside Justice Adeniyi Ademola and wife, Olabowale, had told the Department of the State Service, that Buhari’s lawyer, Kola Awodeyin gave Ademola N500,000.
Agi said Awodeyin paid the money to Justice Ademola in 2015 at the time the Judge was presiding over Buhari’s certificate case.
Agi had claimed to the DSS investigator that the sum of N500,000 paid to Justice Ademola by Awodeyin was not meant to be a bribe but a gift for the wedding ceremony of Judge’s daughter.
The SAN was said to have explained that that the money paid by Awodein was part of the gifts which the Judge received from many donors towards his daughter’s wedding ceremony.
The N500,000 revelation came to light as DSS investigator, Babatunde Adepoju, was being cross-examined by defence lawyers.
He confirmed that Agi had disclosed the information to him in the course of investigation of the case against the defendants.
The following exchanges ensued in court between Agi’s lawyer, Jeph Njikonye, and Adepoju:
Question: During the interview with the third defendant, he told you that the wedding gift passed by Ken Hubert and Bassey Bassey was not the only gift received by the first defendant (Justice Ademola), and that the President’s lawyer also passed a gift of N500,000 then for the wedding of the judge’s daughter.
Answer: Yes.
In answer to another question, Adepoju said it was President’s lawyer, Awodeyin, who passed off the gift of N500,000 to Ademola.
As a follow up to the response, Agi’s lawyer asked whether the N500,000 given at a time when Buhari had a pending case before Ademola, amounted to a bribe, so that the Judge would rule in his favour, Adepoju answered in the negative, stressing that “such would amount to a speculation in my opinion”.
Adepoju also added that his office did not investigate further to determine the authenticity or otherwise of the claim by Agi.
He also confirmed that Agi had explained under interrogation that the sum of N30m was the money contributed by his and Justice Ademola’s mutual friends for the Judge’s daughter’s wedding ceremony.
He said Agi explained that the money was paid to Olabowale’s (Ademola’s wife) account.
Ademola is facing trial for alleged abuse of office alongside.
His wife, Olubowale, and Agi, are also being tried for alleged corruption
They are jointly prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on charges, including receiving and giving gratification to influence the course of justice.
Among the 18 counts preferred against the defendants, was an allegation that on January 5, 2015, in his capacity as a public servant, Justice Ademola “corruptly received” from Agi a BMW Saloon 320i valued at N8,500,000 through his son, Ademide Ademola, as gratification in the exercise of his official functions as a Judge .
Meanwhile, as the Federal Government closes its case, Ademola’s counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu said he would move a no case submission on behalf of his client.
The trial Judge, Jude Okeke, adjourned the matter till March 15 for hearing of the application.

Author: News Editor

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