N4.7bn Fraud: Judge Adjourns indefinitely 10-Years Old Ladoja ’s Corruption Trial
Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, September 27, 2018, adjourned sine die the ongoing trial of a former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja.
Ladoja is facing trial alongside a former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Waheed Akanbi, for allegedly laundering a sum of N4.7bn from the coffers of Oyo State government.
At today’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, O. O. Olabisi, statedthat he had filed an amended charge against the defendant before the court.
He also prayed for an extension of the fiat issued to the Judge by the President of the Court of Appeal to conclude the matter this month.
Justice Idris is among the 12 High Court judges recently elevated to
the Court of Appeal.
Counsel to the first defendant, Bolaji Onilenla, opposed the application of prosecution to amend the charge, saying, “At this critical stage, the prosecution cannot amend the charge.”
Onilenla, however, aligned himself with the prayer of the prosecution for an extension of the fiat given the presiding Judge.
Counsel to the second defendant, Olumide Fisikan, sought to move his application of no-case submission.
He also aligned himself with other counsels in the matter that the judge should seek an extension of the fiat on the matter.
In his short ruling, Justice Idris held that either party was at liberty to apply to the President of the Court of Appeal for the renewal of the fiat in line with the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.
“To be on a safe side, this case must be adjourned sine die,” he further held.
The defendants were first arraigned in 2008 before Justice A.R. Mohammed.
They, however, challenged the validity of the charges up to the Supreme Court.
The apex court in 2015 dismissed their appeal and ordered them to go back to the lower court to face their trial.
They were subsequently re-arraigned on December 14, 2016 before Justice Idris.
Head, Media & Publicity
Court Adjourns Ex-Abia Gov, Kalu’s N7.6bn Fraud Trial Indefinately
Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, September 27, 2018 adjourned sine die the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, over his alleged involvement in a N7.6billion fraud.
Kalu is standing trial alongside his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, and a company, Slok Nigeria Limited, on an amended 39-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N7.6bn.
The matter had been adjourned to today for the defence to open its case.
However, at the resumed hearing, Justice Idris informed the court that the fiat issued to him by the President of the Court of Appeal would expire tomorrow, September 28, 2018.
The Judge, who was elevated to the Appellate Court sometime in June 2018, was issued a fiat to conclude some of the criminal cases that are before him by the end of this month.
The Judge also said that in line with the ongoing nation-wide strike, it might be impossible for the defence team to conclude its defence.
He, however, sought the opinion of counsel on the way forward.
Counsel to the first defendant, Awa Kalu, SAN, urged the court to adjourn the matter on the grounds it might be impossible to conclude the trial in view of the underlying issues. “My Lord, we are ready to open our case.
“However, it may be an exercise in futility to start now only to stop tomorrow.
“We have two witnesses before the court, who will need to defend before this matter is brought to conclusion and that may seem impossible because of the expiration of the fiat.
“It may, therefore, be prudent to determine the faith of the fiat
before we continue.”
Counsels to the second and third defendants, Chief Solo Akuma, SAN,
and K.C. Nwofo, SAN, aligned with the submissions of Kalu.
The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, however, opposed the
applications of the defence team.
He argued that the case had been previously adjourned to today for the
defence to open its case.“My Lord, this is the sixth time the defence team is asking for adjournment.
“I urge the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence team and call on them to commence; and if they don’t finish, we can re-apply for renewal of the fiat,” he further said.
Justice Idris, in a short ruling, held that it might seem impossible for the defence to finish today.
“In line with the ongoing strike, the matter will be adjourned sine
die,” he added.
The Judge also held that either party was at liberty to apply to the President of the Court of Appeal for the renewal of the fiat in line with the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, ACJA.
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Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi
98 days 23 hours 44 minutes 23 seconds,
Baptist School Students, Kaduna
81 days 1 hour 25 minutes 48 seconds
Report By: PRNigeria.com