EFCC seeks transfer of Shekarau’s, others’ case over security threat
The three members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were accused to have collected N25 million each and other funds amounting to N950 million from former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to facilitate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign in Kano.
They are being prosecuted for money laundering.
At the hearing yesterday, the prosecuting counsel, Jonson Ojogbane, told the presiding judge, Justice Zainab Abubakar Kaji, that the EFCC had written an application for the transfer of the matter through the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja from the Kano High Court to another judicial division to avert a potential security threat.
He, therefore, sought the adjournment of proceedings to enable him to complete the process of transfer already filed before the chief judge.
But interjecting midway, Justice Kaji insisted that the prosecution counsel could not request such application for adjournment without specifically mentioning a date convenient to both parties.
Counsel to the first defendant (Ibrahim Shekarau), Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), who opposed the EFCC application for transfer of the case from Kano, insisted that such an act was an indication that the EFCC was not prepared to continue with the suit.
Okutepa, who stated that the prosecution has no justification to seek for such application on the basis of a security threat, considering the security apparatus at the disposal of the government, regretted that the prosecution was not mindful of financial expenses and other implications that it might cause his clients.
Also, counsel to second (Aminu Wali) and third (Mansur Ahmad) defendants, Sam T. Ologunorisa (SAN), who also challenged the application for transfer, however raised the alarm that from intelligence report, “there is the likelihood that our clients and over 50 witnesses maybe kidnapped on their way to Abuja.
In her ruling, Justice Kaji submitted that “applications such as this are meant for the court to stay action until the chief judge responds or accedes to the request on whether the case will continue in Kano or not.”
No comments yet