Judge warns Nigerian govt counsel on poor handling of Justice Ademola’s corruption trial

Symbol of law and justice, law and justice concept, focus on the scales
Symbol of law and justice, law and justice concept, focus on the scales

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday warned the prosecution to refrain from delaying the ongoing trial of a judge, Adeniyi Ademola, currently facing corruption charges.

The trial judge, Jude Okeke, gave the warning on Monday after the prosecution counsel representing the Attorney General of the Federation, Segun Jegede, demanded an adjournment due to alleged threats to the life of a prosecution witness, Shuaibu Teidi.

Mr. Jegede told the court that Mr. Teidi’s life has been under threat and that the witness reported the matter to the police, who took him to a safe place.

According to the prosecution counsel, the development resulted in the inability of Mr. Teidi to attend trial on Monday.

Responding to the allegation, defence counsel Onyechi Ikpeazu said the accusations were baseless, stressing that he had no prior knowledge of the matter before meeting the prosecution counsel in court on Monday.

He queried the failure of the prosecution to report the matter to him, outside the opened court and urged the court to disregard the allegations.

In a short ruling on the matter, Justice Okeke held that his court will not address fully the allegation of threat, but asked that the police protect the prosecution, as well as the defence and their witnesses.

After the ruling, Mr. Jegede demanded that the court adjourns till Wednesday to allow him time to contact Mr. Teidi.

That request was frowned at by Mr. Okeke who noted that the prosecution had listed 14 witnesses intended to be brought to court.

Mr. Okeke said the prosecution had only complained about a threat on the life of one witness and wondered how that could be used as a basis for seeking an adjournment.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola
Justice Adeniyi Ademola

“This is not acceptable to court. The record of the court showed that the matter was adjourned till today for ruling and continuation of trial.

“Prosecution has other people listed as witnesses asides from Dr. Teidi and the prosecution has not said any of the other witnesses are being threatened. The implication is that apart from Teidi and a staff of GTB, the prosecution is not prepared to proceed with the trial.

“This is unacceptable to the court. The court is ready to go ahead with the trial. It was on that the court granted an order of accelerated trial. Even today, because of this case, the court this morning adjourned 11 other cases so as to hear the witnesses.”

The judge said the prosecution succeeded in disrupting the schedule for Monday.

“The action of the prosecution has made the court to act in vain, especially to the defendants and other litigants that their cases were originally listed.

“The application for adjournment is uncalled for, unreasonable and does not fall in line with the attitude of the present government as contained in ACJA. It is not good enough, it is not with the spirit of time.

“On account of the foregoing, the prosecution has not given a cogent reason for the grant of the application, but the court will indulge the prosecution by granting the adjournment.

“But instead of Wednesday requested for by the prosecution, I will adjourn till tomorrow, and if the prosecution fails again to produce its witness, the court will do the needful. To ‘before warned is to before harmed,” Mr. Okeke said.

Mr. Ademola and his wife, Olubowale, are being tried for receiving bribes worth hundreds of millions of naira from various parties in court.

They have both denied any wrongdoing and Mr. Ademola, a judge of the federal high court, has asked for accelerated hearing.

Editor’s Note: The headline and the second paragraph have been edited to show that the prosecutor represented the office of the Attorney General and not the EFCC as initially reported.


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  • Law Offices

    Premium Times Editor,

    EFCC should behave responsibly. A good prosecution team does not need endless adjournment.

    Lawyers retained by EFCC should be put through severe vetting for competence and diligence.

  • Razorblade Abefele

    They never had a case to begin with all they wanted to do was trial by media.

  • disqus_AmgOh3PE0E

    Premium Times,

    The right quote should have been
    “TO BE FOREWARNED is TO BE FOREARMED”.

    • Eze

      Thought I was the only one who saw this..

  • isioku

    I am not surprised. very typical of government lawyers. They are rarely prepared for their cases. when the Judge does the needful, uninformed masses will say he has taken bribe. Through cross- examination, the defence had already demolished the count of illegal possession of firearm when it was confirmed in evidence that there were indeed two licences for the two rifles found in his house. Even if a witness’s life is threatened, the Police should accompany him to court and take him back to hiding. It is their duty to escort him to court in such circumstance. the excuse is flimsy and smacks of unseriousness

  • chinedu

    The case has just begun. The terrible incompetence of the attorney general, his dss,and the the presidency is about to be exposed. We are still watching.

  • Man_Enough

    EFCC has been compromised. This is a planned soft landing tactics. Tomorrow, the witness will not be produced and the judge will strike out the case and efcc operatives will smile to the bank, ademola will continue to celebrate his loot while Nigerians will continue to lick their wounds.

  • Dodondawa

    If you think any good will come out of this case, think again. Nigeria is a country where the prosecution intentionally drops the ball time and again. Justice Okeke, kindly dismiss the case if they are not prepared to move forward because the government with all the resources at their disposal should be able to protect a witness listed on their case? Nigeria, I fear thee.

  • Cry Nigeria!!!!

    @disqus_B9FMHimKnD:disqus

    The Professor SAGAY so-called legal training of prosecutors

    IT IS SAD that after boasting that he has trained EFCC lawyers in prosecution skills
    the result has been more appalling than when these lawyers did not undergo the
    legal training organized by Professor Itse Sagay. It is not known how much was
    taken from the treasury by the Professor Sagay training team for that purpose.
    Nigeria can never develop at this rate because there is always double loss for
    Nigerians who do not get money for value or get or sense a sense of justice.
    One has not reached the conclusion that funds were merely wangled in ruse
    or that fraud has committed but, prima facie, nothing has been achieved.