Absence of counsel stalls trial of fake army general who claimed Buhari nominated him as COAS
The absence of the defence counsel on Friday stalled the trial of a fake army general, Bolarinwa Abiodun, for alleged N266 million fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the defendant on a 13-count charge of impersonation and forgery at the Lagos Special Offences Court, Ikeja.
The commission alleged that Abiodun impersonated an army general and defrauded two companies of N266 million after claiming that he had been nominated as the Chief of Army Staff by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The offences, according to EFCC, contravened Sections 1(3) and 6 of Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act of 2006, and Section 363 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
At Friday’s proceeding, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo frowned at the absence of the counsel, Mr. Kayode Lawal, and asked the defence team to put its act together.
The judge had asked the defendant why his counsel was absent, and he said Lawal’s brother informed him that the counsel was indisposed.
READ ALSO: ALLEGED N266.5m FRAUD: Court refuses bail for fake Army General who claimed Buhari nominated him as COAS
EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, also expressed disappointment at the response.
He added that the defence counsel had the phone numbers of the prosecution team but did not deem it appropriate to call and inform the team that he would not be in court.
“I called him when I discovered that he was not in court, and he was sounding very lively and said he sent his junior, but there is no representation here in court for the defendant.
“We have two prosecution witnesses in court to testify.
“My lord, we have undertaken not to delay this matter and we stand by our word.”
The judge adjourned the case till May 4 for the continuation of trial.
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