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Absence of defendant stalls hearing in P&ID alleged fraud case

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Grace Taiga


Atiku’s lawyer, brother fail to stop re-arraignment, Tarfa seeks time to recover HDP asks S’Court to reverse ruling on Buhari’s election

Absence of former Director of Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Grace Taiga, who is alleged to have been involved in the P&ID multiple fraud case yesterday stalled hearing of the case at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.

Counsel to the defendant, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) told the court that the Mrs. Taiga was indisposed and on admission at the Gwagwalada Specialist Teaching Hospital, saying efforts to bring her to court for proceeding failed as she was not fit enough to be moved.Olanipekun, therefore sought adjournment of the sitting to give the defendant enough time to regain strength.

On his part, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bala Sanga, raised no objection to the motion for adjournment by the defense counsel, just as Justice Olukayode Adeniyi after taking submissions of counsel adjourned hearing to November 6 and 7, 2019.Besides, Rickey Tarfa (SAN), who allegedly offered gratification to judges, has asked a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere for an extension of time to recuperate from his surgery.

Also, Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday refused the application for adjournment filed by Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, lawyer to former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku, to stall his plea taken for re-arraignment over alleged money laundering.The judge also refused the application of Uyiekpen’s brother, Eruhunse, asking the court to consolidate his charge with Atiku’s son-in-law Abdullahi Babalele, who is also standing trial in another court over money laundering charges.

Uyiekpen and his brother are being tried on three counts charge of money laundering amounting to $2 million.Meanwhile, Hope Democratic Party (HDP) yesterday, filed a fresh application at the Supreme Court, asking it to reverse the judgment delivered on October 3, which dismissed an appeal it filed against the election of President Muhammadu Buhari on technical grounds.

It claimed that the judgment delivered by Justice Mary Peter Odili in favour of President Buhari was invalid and unconstitutional as it was based on technicalities of law rather than on merit and justice.

In a fresh motion on notice brought pursuant to Order 8, Rule 2 of the Supreme Court Rules, sections 6 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution and section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, the party and its presidential candidate, Ambrose Albert Owuru, pleaded with the court to restore its appeal for fresh hearing on merit.

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