8th March, 2011
Justice Abubakar Umar of the FCT High Court has warned prosecutors handling cases for the EFCC not to expose the judiciary to public ridicule.
Umar gave the warning when a counsel to the anti-graft agency, Ms. Efe Onoja, asked for an adjournment to enable her to go through a case involving an alleged N45 million scam filed against two businessmen in Abuja.
The duo, Emmanuel Monye and Aderemi Oluwaji, were alleged to have conspired to forge a Certificate-of-Occupancy for a property on No. 15 Mambilla Str., Cadastral I, Maitama, Abuja.
They were accused of using the property, belonging to one
Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar, as collateral to obtain a loan facility valued at N45 million from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc on May 20, 2009.
At the resumed hearing on Friday, Onoja told the court that the case file was only handed over to her on Sunday (March 6) because the former counsel handling the matter had been transferred out of Abuja.
But the defence counsel, Mr Fidelis Dim, objected, saying the request would be the seventh adjournment being sought by the prosecution since the arraignment of the accused persons in 2009.
â€œMy Lord, my clients were only granted bail on Sept. 21, 2010 since they were arrested in 2009. This is after many cases of absence from court by the prosecution.
â€œThis would be the seventh adjournments if my Lord grants it. My clients have dependants to take care of; they are young people carrying this heavy allegation on their heads.
â€œThe prosecution has not shown diligence in prosecuting this matter. We urge my Lord to strike out the suit and dismiss my clients,â€ he said.