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Defendant’s absence stalls trial of ex-Head of Service, Oronsanye

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The absence of Osarenkhoe Afe, a second defendant, stalled the alleged fraud trial involving a former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Orosanye, alongside Afe and his company on fraud charges.

When the matter was called in court, Afe’s counsel, Oluwole Aladedoye, told the court that his client was absent in court due to closure of airports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He prayed the court for adjournment of the case.

He said: “Going by the court’s records, my client has never missed proceedings. But because the airports are still closed, he is unable to fly from Lagos to Abuja.

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“He wanted to come by road but only recently we heard that 18 passengers on a bus coming to Abuja from Lagos were kidnapped so it is not safe.

“He needs to be alive to defend himself and since the airports are opening soon, he is making efforts to book a flight to Abuja.”

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Oluwaleke Atolagbe, did not object to the defence counsel’s request for adjournment of the case.

Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter till July 21.

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