The Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Okon Abang, on Thursday granted the application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to close its case in the criminal prosecution of former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako and eight others.
Prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, had on November 13, 2019, sought the leave of the court to close his case having called 21 witnesses.
Though the defence counsel to the third defendant, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), made an oral application on November 13, 2019, seeking the leave of the court to compel the prosecution to produce witnesses 12, 26 and 27, the court in its ruling held that the failure of the prosecution to call the three witnesses is a “novel issue” adding that there was a division in the camp of the defence with only the third, fifth and ninth defendants opposing the application of the prosecution even though they are jointly charged.
The court also ruled that it was not that the prosecution was unwilling to provide the said witnesses but that it was due to the unavailability of the witnesses.
“The prosecution has the right to exercise its discretion in calling its witnesses to prove its case”, the court ruled.
Justice Abang adjourned until March 6, 2020, to allow the counsels address the court on the no-case-submission filed by the defendants.
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The EFCC is prosecuting Nyako and his co-defendants on a 37-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of N29 billion.
Details of the Thursday court proceedings was made available to newsmen by Tony Orilade, the EFCC’s acting Head, Media and Publicity.
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