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Court asks EFCC to produce Taraba APC guber candidate on Jan 15

By Charles Akpeji, Jalingo
06 December 2018   |   4:00 am
A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission...

[file photo] EFCC

A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Alhaji Sani Danladi Abubakar, in court on January 15, 2019.

Abubakar, former acting governor of the state, is presently standing trial alongside with former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Joel Danlami Ikenya and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mark Useni, on alleged conspiracy and violation of financial regulations.

The order for the presence of Abubakar in court was giving shortly after the argument of the prosecution counsel and counsel to the first, second and third defendants.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Steven Pam, who directed the EFCC counsel, Israel Akande, to ensure the presence of the third defendant in court, said failure of the EFCC to produce Abubakar on the said date, the court would be left with no option than to discharge both the first and the second defendants.

He said: “The court can only assume jurisdiction when the EFCC brings all the accused persons to the court.

“The court hereby reserves the application challenging this honourable court to entertain the case pending the arraignment of the accused persons.”

However, reacting to the development after the court session, counsel to both the first and second defendants said the EFCC could not hold their clients to ransom over its inability to produce the third defendant in court.

He admonished the court to force the prosecution team to bring the defendant to court come January 15, 2019.

Meanwhile, despite the massive presence of heavily-armed security operatives, some aggrieved youths armed with various placards barricaded the court premises demanding that the Federal Government through the EFCC should desist from shielding the third defendant from appearing before the court.