Justice Mikailu Abdullahi of Niger State High Court, sitting in Minna, on Tuesday adjourned till October 23 and 24, the cross-examination and continuation of trial in the ecological fund case involving the former governor of the state, Babangida Aliyu, his then-chief of staff, Umar Nasko and the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Barr. Tanko Beji.
The trio are arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a seven-count amended charge of criminal breach of trust and alleged misuse of the state’s ecological funds to the tune of N2billion
The EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the court had on Monday discharged the 1st prosecution witness, (PW1), Bala Muhammad, an officer of the EFCC, over the continued failure of the counsel to the third defendant to appear for the cross-examination.
He said: “At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the prosecution counsel, Ocholi Okutepa, presented the second witness (PW2), for cross-examination. However, Mamman Mike Osman, counsel to the third defendant prayed the court to grant a short adjournment to give counsel to the second defendant, who was not present in court for a health reason, the chance to recover and continue with the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness.
“The prosecution counsel, who did not object to the application for adjournment, however, expressed regret that he was hearing for the first time that the counsel to the second defendant has been ill and had applied for a short adjournment.
“Justice Abdullahi adjourned the case till October 23 and 24, 2019 for the continuation of the cross-examination of first prosecution witness (PW1).”
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