The Abuja division of the federal high court has adjourned the trial of former minister of justice and former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke until March 7, 2022, due to the absence of prosecution witnesses.
Mr Adoke who is being prosecuted alongside Aliyu Abubakar, a businessman, by the EFCC on 14-count amended charges bordering on money laundering was present in court on Tuesday for his trial.
What happened in court
When the matter was called up in court, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga told the court that the 4 witnesses he intended to present for the trial are not available because the notice given was less than 24 hrs.
“Unfortunately the witnesses are not available today, most of them are police officers attached to the commission and have been posted back to their divisions. The only one left among them lost his son and is not emotionally stable to testify in court,” Mr Sanga said.
He prayed the court to adjourn the matter to enable him contact the witnesses and bring them in to testify.
Counsel for the first defendant told the court to have it on record that the prosecution counsel has asked for seven adjournments so far.
“My lord it should be on record that this is the seventh adjournment that the prosecution has asked for against the administration of criminal justice Act (ACJA).”
Counsel for the second defendant told the court that he is not opposing the prosecution’s application for adjournment but that the prosecution should be ready to present his witnesses at the next adjourned date.
The presiding judge, Justice I.E Ekwo noted that the matter was not moving at the pace it should. He said every adjournment sets the case backwards.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter until March 7 and 8 2022, for the commencement of the trial within trial. He also ordered the prosecution counsel to make all witnesses available in court at the next adjourned date.
In case you missed it
Nairametrics reported yesterday that the trial was adjourned today for a trial within the trial as requested by the defence counsel who claimed the second defendant’s testimony was taken under duress.
What you should know
Mr Adoke was appointed the minister of justice and Attorney general of the federation on April 6, 2010.
He was first arraigned alongside Mr Aliyu on March 1, 2020, before Justice Binta Nyako on a seven-count charge. Adoke and Abubakar were re-arraigned on June 17, 2020, before Justice Ekwo on the same count charge.
On August 4, 2020, the two were re-arraigned again before Justice Ekwo on a 14-count charge bordering on money laundering.