A statement by the presidency on Wednesday indicated that the federal government has filed an appeal against the Wednesday ruling by an Abuja High Court which discharged a Federal High Court judge and two others of fraud allegations.
In the statement, presidential sources were quoted as saying that the judgement by Justice Jude Okeke amounts to a “strange outcome, given the facts presented before the court”.
“In efforts to save the war against corruption following a streak of losses in the courts, the Federal Government yesterday (Thursday) filed an appeal against the decision of Justice Jude Okeke to uphold the no case submission in the corruption case against Justice Adeniyi Ademola, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola and Mr. Joe Agi, SAN.
“The Government through the Ministry of Justice has also filed a fresh case in the Code of Conduct Tribunal against Justice Ademola and wife for living above their means and failure to declare their assets,” the sources were quoted as saying.
The sources were further quoted as saying that the decision of the court to discharge Mr. Ademola and the other defendants was grossly inaccurate.
“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,” a source was quoted as saying.
In freeing Mr. Ademola and the other two accused on Wednesday, Justice Jude Okeke said the case was built on “high level suspicion and speculation” fuelled by the very important fight against corruption.
Mr. Okeke said the allegation of collecting gratification, as made by the prosecution should have indicated clearly that the alleged gratification was corruptly collected and that the reasons for such corrupt transfers were related to the alleged offence.
Efforts to confirm the appeal against the ruling, from Attorney General Abubakar Malami, were unsuccessful. His spokesperson, Salihu Isah, could not be reached on his phone.
The spokesperson of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Ibrahim Alhassan, could also not be reached to confirm if indeed fresh charges have been filed against Mr. Ademola at the tribunal. Mr. Alhassan did not pick or return calls made to his mobile number.