Witness escapes assassination attempt -FG Counsel
- Justice Ademola’s trial: Witness escapes assassination attempt
- ABUJA— The Federal Government, yesterday, told an Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama, that eight armed gunmen attempted to kill one of the key witnesses billed to testify against Justice Adeniyi Ademola, who is facing corruption charges.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 Ademola’s trial “has progressed to a very dangerous dimension,” adding that the witness is currently under police protection while the matter was being investigated.
The prosecution said the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, handling the case also confirmed the incident to him on phone.
At that juncture, Ademola’s lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, interjected, accusing the prosecution of attempting to further tarnish the image of his client in the media.
Similarly, counsel to Ademola’s wife, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, maintained that the assassination story was a figment of imagination of the prosecution.
Meantime, in a bench ruling, trial Justice Jude Okeke directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to provide security for not only the prosecution witnesses, but also to those the defendants may call.
Justice Okeke said he would not interfere with on-going investigation into the assassination attempt.
He said the protection order was to ensure that the trial was not hampered by the absence of witnesses on account of threat to their lives.
Following the ruling, Jegede applied for an adjournment, a request that was opposed by all the defendants.
Ademola’s lawyer urged the court to dismiss the charge for want of diligent prosecution, insisting that FG cooked-up the assassination story having failed to produce any of the 14 proposed witnesses in court.
He noted that aside Teidi, others billed to testify, including Police, DSS officials and an exhibit keeper, the prosecution failed to give cogent reason why none of the witnesses were in court.
While counsel to Ademola’s wife, Clarke, SAN, accused the prosecution of being “very careless with the case,” he said the adjournment request was a slap on the disposition of the current administration for criminal cases to be given speedy hearing.