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Counsel’s absence stalls trial of ex-Kwara Scholarship Board chief for alleged N100m theft



Absence of one of the defence counsels on Thursday stalled the alleged N100 million theft trial involving the immediate past Chairperson of Kwara State Scholarship Board, Hajia Fatima Yusuf, at the State High Court, Ilorin.

The counsel, Y.O. Ahmed, who is representing the Scholarship Board chairperson in the case, was conspicuously absent in court and did not give any reason given for his absence.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Yusuf alongside the Board Secretary, Fatai Lamidi; and its Accountant, Ajewole Stephen, on a seven-count charge of stealing, fraudulent conversion of government’s fund, and forgery in January last year.

While Yusuf was listed as the first defendant, Lamidi and Stephen appeared as 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively on the charge sheet.

At Thursday’s proceedings, all parties in the case were present in court. But the case could not hold because of the defence counsel’s absence in court.

The commission accused the defendants of diverting state funds to the tune of N100 million.

READ ALSO: EFCC recovers additional N130m from suspected treasury looters in Kwara

The fund was meant for payment of 2018 bursary allowances to students of Kwara State origin in various tertiary institutions across the country.

The EFCC counsel, O. B. Akinsola, told the court that her witnesses were in court, adding that the prosecution was ready to proceed with the matter.

Two other lawyers, Saka Isau (SAN) and Adewale Olatunde, announced their appearance for the 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye adjourned the case till January 26 for the continuation of hearing.

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