A prosecution witness, Ike Onuoha, has told a Federal High Court in Abuja how he and other operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) found various amount of money, including foreign currencies at the residence of Justice Adeniyi Ademola during their sting operation at the residence of some senior judges last October.
Justice Ademola, his wife, Olubowale and Agi were been arraigned by the federal government on a 16-count charge of criminal conspiracy to offer and receive gratification in various ways contrary to section 8(1)(a) of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resumed trial tuesday, led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Segun Jegede, the witness, who is the leader of an eight-man team that carried out the operation, told the court that monies were discovered after they forcefully gained entrance into the residence of the judge at No 30b S.O Ogbemudia Crescent, Apo legislative quarters.
According to him after the search which was done in the presence of his lawyer, Joe Agi SAN and his cook, Ken, the operatives recovered the sum of N54million, 121,279 dollars, 4,400 euros, 80 pounds and 1,010 rupees.
Apart from the monies, the witness also stated that the two pump action rifles were also recovered alongside 35 life cartridges.
However, the witness under cross examination admitted that he was not aware whether there is a complaint or not against the judge, adding that his team was briefed based on a petition and information relating to incriminating items in the house of the said judge.
Under cross-examination by counsel to Justice Ademola, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), the witness admitted that he did not see the petition and that he did not know whether there was a petition or not against the judge.
He further admitted that there was no complaint of stolen or missing money to have warranted the recovery of the said amount from the judge’s residence.
Speaking on how they gained entry into the judges’ residence, Onuoha disclosed that his team forced the main door of the house opened using screw bar due to the refusal of Ademola’s cook and the private security guard to open the door for them even after he introduced himself and also told them their mission.
Under further cross-examination, Ikpeazu had confronted the witness that there were bullets holes on the security door of the judge, but the witness answered in the negative.
When also asked whether the judge searched his body before he commenced the search on the house, the witness answered no, but however added that the cook searched him.
The witness also admitted that he did not see Mrs Olubowale Ademola who is the second defendant in the matter in the house on the said day and that none of her property was part of things recovered from the house.
While being cross examined by counsel to Agi who the third defendant, Jeff Njikonye, the witness admitted that he knew from the media that the DSS is pursuing a sensitive case against Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu.
When asked whether he knew that Justice Ademola gave an order against the DSS to release Dasuki from its custody after three months in detention without a charge, the witness said it was correct.
According to Njikonye, “I put it to you that the courageous ruling of the first defendant was his offense against the DSS.”
The witness however, said he was not aware of such.
After calling two witnesses, the prosecution prayed for an adjournment till today to bring two more witnesses.
The defence however, opposed the application for adjournment on grounds that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provided for a day to day trial and that they are ready to continue with the trial.
Responding the prose union informed the court that some of his witnesses have complained that they are being threatened by unknown persons and because of that the prosecution could not have access to them.
In a short ruling, the court adjourned till today at the instance of the prosecution.