Court registrar denies involvement in fraud allegation
FORMER registrar to Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, who was alleged of collecting $330,000 from former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamayi while in detention at the Kirikiri Prison has denied all the allegations against her before the court.
Rosulu, in her evidence before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, refuted all allegations of conspiracy and obtaining money made against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Led in evidence by her counsel, Mr. Bamidele Ogundele, Rosulu told the court that she started working with the judiciary in 1981 and had to support her salary by providing catering services.
She told the court that she was still a registrar in Justice Oyewole’s court while Bamaiyi was standing trial in the same court. According to her, I only knew the complainant (Bamaiyi) when he was standing trial before Justice Oyewole. I was the senior registrar in that court before I was posted out sometime in March 2006 and that was the last time I saw Bamaiyi until I was invited to EFCC’s office in 2013.
“I never met ACP Abdullahi Garba before, I don’t know Fred Ajudua personally but I knew him as an accused standing trial. I did not collect money from anybody and I don’t know Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) on one-on-one and I never worked in his chambers,” she said. On the allegation that she visited prison three trice, Rosulu said she had never in her life visited prison.
“I was surprised on December 19, 2013 when Bamaiyi confronted me at EFCC’s office that he gave me money for Chief Afe Babalola and for Justice Oyewole.
“In the same room at EFCC’s office, ACP Garba was brought in and introduced himself to me and confronted me that I came to Kirikiri and that I saw him with a Ghana-Must-Go bag; and that I told him there that I don’t know him. Garba and Bamaiyi were speaking in Hausa language.”
She said she was detained for 18 days at the commission’s office, and her statement was taken. She further told the court that the EFCC officials went to her house, searched and took her chequebook, phones and receipt of the land she bought and was paying for in installments Under cross examination by the anti graft counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh, the defendant maintained that she never met Bamaiyi before he was standing trial in Oyewole’s court.
She told the court she was not the only registrar in the court, adding that there were two registrars and that while there she did not work on Saturdays. She insisted that she did not work in Chief Afe Chambers. Earlier at the proceedings, Deputy Comptroller of the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Vincent Ubi, in his testimony before the court, said Garba and ACP Tajudeen Kehinde were subordinate staff.
Ubi said that Garba and Kehinde shared same office and Garba was on general duty. “In the day-to-day performance of their duty, I was not with them because I had a different office. I might not know what happened in their office.
There were rules of bringing money to prison then, any money belonging to a detainee would be recorded and kept for them. “Anybody that needed the money would apply and I would approve and the inmate must give reason. Most of the time they would apply simply because they wanted to pay their lawyers,” Ubi said.
When he was asked if Bamaiyi applied to collect dollar to pay his lawyer, Ubi told the court that they don’t accept dollar and that he never at any time granted approval for that.
He said: “When application is made, staff doesn’t bring the person to me, I only approve the application. I don’t know the defendant (Rosulu).
I was not aware of the $330,000 the complainant said he brought to the prison.” It would be recalled that Bamaiyi, while testifying before the court, alleged that Rosulu aided a Lagos socialite, Fred Ajudua to defraud him of $330,000. Bamaiyi said the money was meant for a part payment of the professional fees charged by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle his trial for attempted murder of the publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru and two others.
Bamaiyi had explained that he met Ajudua and Alumile Adedeji a.k.a. Ade Bendel at the Kirikiri maximum prisons, while being remanded there. According to the General, the alleged fraud took place between November 2004 and June 2005 while he was on remand alongside Ajudua in Kirikiri Maximum Prison. The presiding judge therefore adjourned adoption of parties written address till October 26, 2015.
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