Emefiele’s trial adjourned as EFCC files fresh evidence

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Friday, adjourned until May 9, for defence to study additional proof of evidence submitted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

News24 Nigeria reports that Emefiele was charged with $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud.

Justice Rahman Oshodi, in his short ruling, said he had considered the submissions of both the parties and was satisfied with the reasons given by the defence for adjournment

He said: “I have considered the conflicting submissions regarding whether I should adjourn for further continuation of trial or not.

“I am satisfied with the reasons given by the defence.
“For the adjournment sought, I grant it.
“I adjourn until May 9 for continuation of trial.”

Earlier, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), counsel for the ex- CBN governor, had informed the court that the prosecution had filed an additional proof of evidence and he needed enough time to go through it.

Ojo argued that Emefiele had not seen the document and that justice rushed was justice crushed.

“I am constrained at this point to ask your lordship to do justice, the proof must be served early enough but I was being served this morning.

“Defence may find anything useful in the additional proof of evidence to cross-examine the witness in the box.

“I humbly urge the court to adjourn this matter so that I can thoroughly go through it and study it,” he said.

The second defence counsel, Mr Adeyinka Kotoye (SAN), also aligned himself with the submission of the first defence counsel.

Kotoye argued that it was only in this part of the world that prosecution would be conducting investigation, while a case was already ongoing in court.

He, therefore, urged the court to adjourn the case in the interest of justice and adequate opportunity to study the additional proof of evidence.

“I urge your lordship not to entertain this trial by ambush and put a stop to it.

“I also apply your lordship mandate the prosecution to supply us all relevant materials.

“Therefore, on the spirit of fairness, I urge your lordship to adjourn the case,” Kotoye said.

The EFCC Counsel, led by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), had informed the court that the second prosecution witness was in court for the continuation of cross-examination and that he had served the defence the statement of one Mr John Adetola, as an additional proof of evidence.

Oyedepo, while opposing the submissions of the defence counsel, had prayed the court for the continuation of the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness.

He said it was unfair for a Senior Advocate of Nigeria whom he held in high esteem to describe his team and its activities as prosecutorial unfairness.

According to him, Adetola was a fifth prosecution witness in the proof of evidence.

Oyedepo said Adetola’s statement was contained in the Volume Two of what was served on defence on April 4.

He said: “In preparation for his testimony that will be coming up not today, not even on May 9, the prosecution, rather than wait for defence to formally place a demand on us on what is in the device, diligence prosecution made me make the device available to defence.

“My lord, how does that amount to prosecutorial unfairness?

“I plead with defence not to delay this case unnecessarily as we have a witness in the box who had given evidence and he is being cross-examined by the first defence counsel.

“If defence is angry that I served them the proof of evidence today, we can withdraw it and serve the same on a later day.”

The prosecution told the court that society was interested and watching the proceeding of the case.

“The society is interested, they are watching us, will this matter be adjourned based on the evidence of another man who is not the witness in the box?

“We are not rushing or crushing justice, rather, we are aiding the oil of justice to rise steadily.

“Expeditious determination of case is of utmost importance and so we urge your lordship to allow the cross-examination,” Oyedepo said.

PlatinumPost reports that a former Director of Information Technology of the apex bank, Mr John Ayoh, had on April 29 narrated how he allegedly collected $600,000 for contract gratification for Emefiele.

The EFCC had on April 8 arraigned Emefiele on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage.

Also, his co-defendant was arraigned on three counts bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.

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