Lagos rights lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa the EFCC arrested recently will remain in the commission’s custody until he’s able to pay N10 million in bail, and produce two sureties in like sum—with landed properties and verifiable bank accounts.
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court in Lagos gave these conditionalities after the EFCC arraigned the lawyer and one Jonathan Udeagbala, charging them with dealing in a landed property in contravention of court order.
Although Adegboruwa, who is also a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lekki, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his lawyer Emeka Etiaba prayed the judge to grant his client bail on self-recognition, Oguntoyibo said she was not convinced.
Adegboruwa’s law firm had sent out a release after he was arrested, claiming that the property case had long been settled out of court, and all the parties involved had agreed to lease the property and share the money among themselves. Adegboruwa was said to have collected just his professional fee of N2.5 million.
But Idris Abdullahi, EFCC’s prosecutor, insisted the property was still a subject of litigation before Justice C. A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court.
In the charge sheet, the prosecutor said Adegboruwa and Udeagbala dealt in a property “lying, being and situate at House 105, Nicon Estate, Lekki, Lagos,” without the authorisation of the EFCC.
On August 13, 2013, Adegboruwa and Udeagabala were said to have leased the property to one Shelf Drilling Nigeria Limited in the sum of N61,631,944.65 credited to Adegboruwa’s account with Zenith Bank.
The commission said it had traced the money to the accounts of the beneficiaries, including a church.
If established, the offence, Abdullahi claimed, is punishable under Section 32(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004.
The case has been adjourned to June 13, 2016 for commencement of trial.
Adegboruwa is one of the critics of President Muhammadu Buhari anti-corruption war, and he doesn’t appear to care about holding brief for just anybody, including those the federal government is hunting around for graft.
Among his clients are the fugitive Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) and Robert Azibaola, former president Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin who had been in EFCC detention since March.
He had also sued the EFCC on behalf of PDP National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh caught in the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.