29th June, 2011
Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned till 26 July, 2011 to hear a motion filed by former governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna and three others seeking to quash 28 counts amended charge of allegation of misappropriation of N93 million brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This was after the anti-graft agency had informed the court that it has changed the prosecuting counsel who was handling the matter.
The new prosecution counsel, Mr. B.I. Ukat, informed the court that the motion to quash their charges earlier filed by the former governor and three others standing trial with him had been served on the commission.
The other three accused persons include Mohammed Inuwa Bassi, Minority Leader in the Adamawa State House of Assembly while Mr. Haruna held sway in the state, John Babani Elias and Al-Akim Investment Nigeria Limited.
The prosecution also said that the EFCC has amended its charge against the accused persons and that he needed an adjournment before proceeding with the matter.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Olusegun O. Jolaawo said that they have served the prosecution with a fresh motion seeking to quash the amended charges against the accused persons.
In a motion on notice brought pursuant to Section 6 (6) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the accused persons urged the court to make an order quashing Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/147/08 brought against them on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
In an affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Esther Hatsiwa, a legal practitioner in the chambers of Messrs Rickey Tarfa & CO, the accused persons noted that the charge as constituted does not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal high court.
They contended that they are standing trial at a Federal High Court in Lagos on the same issues and that trial has reached an advanced stage at the Lagos court. They also claimed that there was no offence disclosed against them in the EFCCâ€™s proof of evidence and argued that the charge ought to be quashed.
By Nnamdi Felix/ Abuja