Code of Conduct Tribunal this morning in Abuja adjourned the hearing of case against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Peter Orubebe to 8th March, 2016 for hearing.
The Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal Hon. Danladi Yakubu Umar ruled that having considered the fact that the intendment of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, is to fast track speedy dispensation of trial as argued by the defence counsel and equally considering the prayers from the prosecution, the matter is hereby adjourned to 8th March, 2016 for hearing, to enable the new counsel to study the case file.
Meanwhile, at the resumption of today’s hearing, the prosecution counsel Ejike Augustine Orji (Senior State Counsel) said prosecution of the case was yesterday transferred from Code of Conduct Bureau to the office of Director for Public Prosecution and stated that his attention was drawn to it just this morning to handle the prosecution.Mr Orji therefore urged the Court to grant him adjournment within the neighbourhood of 3-4 weeks subject to the convenient of the tribunal. He added that it has never been the habit of the office of DPP to delay trial; he therefore requested the court to grant him one more chance of adjournment to enable him to study the file carefully to proceed with the prosecution of the matter as assigned to him.
However, the defence counsel led by Selekowei Larry (SAN), vehemently objected the application of the prosecution counsel, he narrated the antecedence of the prosecution team of stalling hearing since the beginning of the matter.
He insisted that he has always been ready to commence with the trial but the prosecution would bring excuses and that negates the principle of ACJ Act of 2015. He said it is apparent that the prosecutor is unable to diligently prosecute the matter and as such the court should strike it out.
Mr Larry quoted ‘‘the purpose of the Act is to ensure that the system of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria promote efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interest of the suspect, the defendant and the victim’’.
Member of the Tribunal’s panel, Hon Agwadza William Atedze, cautioned the prosecution counsel that he should be wary of the mood of the country, he lamented that at the last adjourned date, the prosecution asked for adjournment to enable him amend charge and that is what the Tribunal expect of him to addressed, not this delays, he frowned.
If recall, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godsday Orubebe was on the 9th Nov 2015 arraigned at the CCT for alleged false declaration and accepting ₦70m bribe.
Head, Press & Public Relations.