Star Witness In Justice Ademola’s Trial Escapes Assassination

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The Federal Government on Monday told an FCT High Court that a star prosecution witness scheduled to testify in the trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola recently escaped an assassination attempt.

Prosecution counsel, Barrister Segun Jegede told the court that the witness, Dr. Sani Shuaibu Teidi called him in the early hours of yesterday (2am) to inform him of an attempt on his life.

It told the court that the gunmen, around 2 a.m., on Monday, stormed the Abuja residence of a witness, Dr. Sani Teidi, who was to testify on how the judge, while presiding over his trial, allegedly demanded N25 million bribe to grant him bail.

According to the prosecution counsel, Mr. Shegun Jegede, it took the quick intervention of the Police to rescue the witness,  who, he said, hid in his bedroom upstairs while his family were held hostage by the assassins.

Jegede told the court that the witness is presently being kept by the Police in an undisclosed location for his safety.

He added that “Three days ago while I was having a meeting with Dr. Teidi, he mentioned to me that he received a call from somebody to broker a meeting between himself and Justice Ademola”.

Justice Ademola’s counsel, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) in objecting to the prosecution’s narrative said: “If a client is mentioned in any allegation, you approach the counsel first.”

He added that the investigating agencies should have been contacted to carry out the necessary investigation and take appropriate steps.

He urged the court to “discourage this move of playing to media gallery.”

Jegede in his reply urged the court to grant an order of witness protection.

“Witnesses are now being systematically threatened and I will urge the court to order an investigation into this matter and order a witness protection for this witness to be able to give evidence”, he said.

The trial judge, Justice Jude Okeke ruled that since the prosecution did not disclose to the court who is threatening the witnesses and that since the prosecution has said the Commissioner of Police (COP) and the Maitama division of the Nigeria Police Force are already abreast of the matter, the court will not interfere with the ongoing investigation.

“The COP is hereby ordered to provide security for not only the prosecution’s witnesses but also the defendants and their witnesses if they so desired”, the judge ruled.

Meanwhile, in response to the prosecution’s prayer for an adjournment, counsel to Mrs. Ademola (2nd defendant), Chief Robert Clarke (SAN) criticised the “careless” approach employed by the prosecution, stating that it was in contradiction to what the present administration represents.

Justice Okeke, in his ruling, held that the prosecution did not present any cogent reason for applying for an adjournment. But giving it a benefit of doubt, the court adjourned trial to continue today.

Recall that an on operative of the Department of State Services, DSS, Ike Onuoha, recently recounted how Justice Ademola stashed cash in foreign and local currencies in Ghana-must-go bags in different locations in his residence at Apo Legislative quarters.

Onuoha, who led a sting operation to the judge’s house on October 7, 2016, told an Abuja High Court sitting in Maitama, that his team discovered N39.5m in N1,000 denomination; N8.5m in N1,000 denomination; N6m; £121,179; 4,400; £80 pounds and 1,010 Indian Rupees, in bags planted in different locations of Ademola’s house.

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