N500,000 Gift to Ademola: Buhari Played No Role – Buhari’s Counsel

A counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, who reportedly gave the embattled High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, a ‘gift’ of N500,000 in 2015, said Wednesday, that Buhari did not play any role in the said gift.
The N500,000 issue came to light in court on Tuesday, when an operative of the Department of State Security (DSS), Babatunde Adepoju, was cross-examined by lawyers.
When told that Kola Awodein, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who handled Buhari’s certificate controversy, gave Ademola N500,000 in 2015, when the case was pending in Ademola’s court, Adepoju said the information was provided to the agency by Joe Agi, another senior lawyer charged alongside Ademola for corruption.
Adepoju said the DSS did not investigate the claim and that he did not believe the money was a bribe.
However, Awodein on Wednesday confirmed that he did give the judge the money, but as a gift to a friend holding a ceremony.
He said in a statement: “It is a fact that the sum of money mentioned was personally paid by me as a friend to Justice Ademola as a personal gift, as our custom well recognises and demands, on the occasion of his daughter’s High Society wedding solemnized at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on the 9th of May 2015, which I attended in person
“I was fully convinced then, as I remain today, that I could do no less as a friend of longstanding to fairly reasonably support him on that memorable occasion of his daughter’s wedding.
“Anyone and everyone who knows me would readily and unquestionably testify that I am and have always been a man of impeccable integrity on and off the Courts and that such a record speaks always loudly for itself.
“I would conclude by stating categorically and without any equivocation that ANY link whatsoever with Mr. President, or any court case or cases, of my personal gift from my personal resources delivered to Justice Niyi Ademola by myself on that occasion or any suggestion whatsoever that it was anything but such a gift or that it ever came from Mr. President or at his instance or that I was acting, under any circumstances, on his behalf is most malicious, utterly ridiculous and in very very poor and revolting taste and most undeserving of any further comments,” he said.
Also, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in the short statement accompanying Awodein’s absolved Buhari of any role.
“Nigerians know that President Buhari challenged the elections of 2003, 2007, and 2011, up to the Supreme Court, and not once was he named as trying to compromise any Judge, though some of them were his schoolmates, or contemporary, at one time or the other.
“It is in keeping with the President’s time-tested reputation as a man of truth and integrity. Any attempt to sully that reputation is bound to fail, inexorably,” Adesina said.
The gift by the President’s counsel was brought to the fore in a bid by Agi’s lawyer to prove his client’s donations to the Judge were not bribes to manipulate judicial process.

Author: News Editor

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