The Federal Government on Thursday filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court which upheld the no case submission filed by Justice Adeniyi Ademola, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola and Mr. Joe Agi (SAN). The trio were arraigned for corruption by the federal government.
Justice Okeke had on Wednesday upheld a no case submission filed by the defence in the case against the accused persons. The judge struck out the 18-count charge proffered against the defendants after holding that the prosecution failed to prove any of the allegations despite the provisions of sections 53 and 60 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (ICPC Act).
A Presidential source, who does not want his name in print, said the federal government through the Ministry of Justice has also filed a fresh case in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) against Justice Ademola and his wife for living above their means and failure to declare their assets. He said the government has been advised to appeal the case.
“A very strange outcome indeed considering the underlying facts. It is even more strange that the trial was not allowed to continue considering the applicable statutory provisions. “Section 53(1) of the ICPC Act raises a presumption that any gratification accepted or obtained by an accused person must have been corruptly accepted or obtained until the contrary is proved. Section 60 of the Act does not apply to the case.
“Of interest is the decision of the learned trial judge that the offence of giving and receiving gratification was not made out by the prosecution against the defendants in the face of the evidence held in court. Prosecution witnesses gave testimony of the payment of N30 million in three tranches by Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) into the account of Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, the wife of Justice Ademola. Mr. Agi was a legal practitioner who actually had cases in the court of Justice Ademola,” the source stated.