Following the revelation that President Muhammadu Buhari had given a gift of N500,000 to Justice Adeniyi Ademola, the presidency has issued a statement explaining what actually happened.
A prosecution witness in the ongoing corruption trial of Justice Ademola of the Federal High Court Abuja, told the court on Tuesday that President Buhari gave the monetary gift during the wedding ceremony of one of the Judge’s daughters.
But at the time, Justice Ademola was presiding over a fake certificate law suit filed against President Buhari by an Abuja-based Lawyer.
The witness, who is an official of the Department of State Services, DSS, noted that the gift was given through Kola Awodein, one of the lawyers that represented Buhari in the case.
But in a statement issued on Wednesday through Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the lawyer in question, Awodein, admitted giving N500,000 to Justice Ademola, but insisted that the gift had nothing to do with Buhari because it was his personal offering to the judge, whom he had known for 35 years.
Explaining the events, Awodein stated that it was a well-known fact among lawyers, especially those who practiced in Lagos, that he had known Justice Ademola “as a friend for well over 35 years”.
“It is a fact that the sum of money mentioned was personally paid by me as a friend to Mr Justice Ademola as a personal gift, as our custom well recognises and demands, on the occasion of his daughter’s high society wedding solemnised at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on the 9th of May 2015, which I attended in person,” he stated.
The senior Lawyer explained that the gift was just a commitment to his friend “to fairly reasonably support him on that memorable occasion of his daughter’s wedding.”
Awodein further stated: “I would conclude by stating categorically and without any equivocation that ANY link whatsoever with Mr President, or any court case or cases, of my personal gift from my personal resources delivered to Justice Niyi Ademola by myself on that occasion or any suggestion whatsoever that it was anything but such a gift or that it ever came from Mr President or at his instance or that I was acting, under any circumstances, on his behalf is most malicious, utterly ridiculous and in very very poor and revolting taste and most undeserving of any further comments.”
“Anyone and everyone who knows me would readily and unquestionably testify that I am and have always been a man of impeccable integrity on and off the courts and that such a record speaks always loudly for itself,” he maintained.