A medical doctor, Dr. Olumuyiwa Solanke, said on Friday that embattled judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, was not admitted as a patient in hospital as she claimed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ofili-Ajumogobia is alleged to have lied to an officer of the EFCC that she was admitted at the Goldcross Hospital, in order to evade questioning by the anti-graft agency over alleged corruption.
Solanke, who works at the Goldcross Hospital, Lagos, was led in evidence by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead EFCC prosecutor.
The medical doctor said hospital records of patients admitted on October 19, 2016 revealed that the judge was not in hospital on that date.
He said: “I got a call from Hon. Ajumogobia that she was not feeling better after using her drugs. I told her to come back to the hospital, that I will come and visit her the next day.
“I phoned the hospital to tell them to be expecting the honourable judge; meanwhile, the EFCC officials had occupied the hospital and were waiting. I first had a phone conversation with Mr. Lawal, the EFCC official, before receiving that call from Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.
“The call I received from Lawal of EFCC was when he told me they were in the hospital and I asked why. He told me they were in the hospital to see if Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was on admission and I told him that as at the time I left the hospital, she was not on admission."
Earlier in his testimony, Solanke, who runs the Goldcross Hospital, revealed the procedure for admission of patients at the medical facility.
“A patient usually comes though the front desk and is allowed to see a doctor who listens to complaints and makes diagnosis. If he deems fit for admission, he (doctor) will inform the nurses at the medical records" he told the court.
“On discharge, once the doctor has discharged the patient, the nurse will take them to medical billing, once she settled her bills, she is then allowed to go. She came in as a patient and made complaints to me and after assessing her, I decided that she should be admitted for further investigations and bed rest on October 7, 2016.
“For October 7, there was a different procedure because she came in as a private patient, also being a judge, she was accorded a VIP status. As a VIP, we allowed them to go straight to their wards and the nurses are allowed to go straight to them to receive data.
"She was admitted and placed in private ward, drugs were administered, various investigations were carried out and she was also seen by the cardiologist. She was discharged on October 13, 2016. And upon discharge, she was given drugs and a sick leave paper for one week to continue the rest at home. At 7.00 p.m. on October 19, 2016, I was called at the hospital that there were EFCC officers at the hospital.”
On cross-examination by Mr. Olawale Akoni (SAN), Ofili-Ajumogobia’s lawyer, Solanke insisted that at the time the hospital records were made, Ofili-Ajumogobia was not on admission at the Goldcross Hospital.
After Solanke’s evidence, Justice Hakeem Oshodi granted an application brought by Ofili-Ajumogobia to renew her seized passport, which was in the court’s custody.
Justice Oshodi ordered that the passport be released and that the old and new passports should also be returned to the Chief Registrar of the court before June 24.
Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial with Mr. Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on 31 counts bordering on corruption.
They are also jointly charged with two counts bordering on perverting the course of justice.
Obla is facing two counts of offering gratification in the sum of N5m to Ofili-Ajumogobia while serving as a judge.
Ofili-Ajumogobia faces 27 counts of unlawful enrichment, taking property by a public officer, corruption, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case until Sepember 14 for continuation of trial.