Alleged N350m graft: Ademola clears Chief Judge, Auta

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A fresh twist has emerged in the N350 bribery allegation levelled against Justice Ademola Adeniyi by the Department of State Security (DSS).

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Justice Ademola, of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has formally petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria  (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed, on the matter. He flatly denied the bribery ever happened.

In an October 11 letter to the CJN, through the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, titled: Report on the unlawful invasion of my residence and abduction on October 7, 2016, Ademola insisted he knew nothing of a N350 million bribe talk less of sharing any money with his boss. Earlier, the security agency had accused Adeniyi of collecting N350 million on a terrorism case which involved upscale owner of Amigos Supermarket Mustapha Fawaz and one Thahini, who had been accused of being financiers of Hezbollah.

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Regardless, Ademola insisted in his memo to the CJN that, contrary to media reports, he “never gave any money to anybody, including judges as claimed by the DSS. I never gave the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta any money.”

Addressing the DSS raid on his home last weekend, Ademola said the security agents turned his residence “upside down” and that, he could not “sleep at home because of the way it was roughened up.”

There were also reports that Justice Ademola could have run into troubled waters because he granted leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is in detention on treason charges, bail.

Last weekend,  Justice Ademola was arrested along other judges by operatives of the DSS over alleged corrupt practices.

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In a sting, nationwide operation, DSS operatives arrested some judges who were accused of taking bribe to subvert justice.

The arrests, which started in Kano and Gombe states, last Friday, swept to some senior judges in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja where two Supreme Court Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, John Okoro and also, Justice Ademola and his brother judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba were affected.

Also arrested  was Justice Muazu Pindiga, of the Federal High Court in Gombe State, who served on the ElectionPetition Tribunal in Rivers State.

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The DSS said large sums of money, in various denominations, local and foreign currencies, were recovered from the homes of the judges including banking documents.

Justice Liman, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State escaped arrest.

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