Justice Ademola, others resume sitting
• Court grants Usman leave to travel abroad
Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, resumed sitting yesterday as directed by the National Judicial Council (NJC), last weekend.The recalled judicial officers include Justice of Supreme Court, Justice John Inyang Okoro and Justice Uwani Abba Aji of the Court of Appeal.
Others are Justices of Federal High Court, including Hydiazira A. Nganjiwa, Musa H. Kurya and Adeniyi Ademola, who has been discharged and acquitted by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. There was also Justice Agbadu James Fishim of National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The affected officers resumed at their respective locations across the country yesterday. While Justice Okoro resumed duties in his chambers at the apex court, Justice Ademola made his entry into the courtroom at exactly 9:00am.
Ademola announced to counsel and parties to various suits listed in the cause list and others in the courtroom, that he was glad to be back after nine months of absence.
Coincidentally, an Abuja-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Agi, who was tried and discharged alongside Ademola, was in the court over a case that has been overtaken by event, which Ademola struck out.
Meanwhile, Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday granted an application by former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, for the release of her international passport so she can travel abroad for a medical appointment.
The judge said Usman was permitted to travel for three weeks between July and August to the United States of America but must surrender her passport to the court not later than August 31, 2017.
Justice Aikawa, however, refused a motion by a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, to suspend commencement of trial, pending the determination of his request for the case to be transferred to Abuja.
The court also allowed the prosecution to call its first witness, Olusegun Idowu, who testified against the defendants.Usman, Fani-Kayode, one Danjuma Yusuf and a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited were brought last June 28, before Justice Muslim Hassan by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They were arraigned on a seven-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and laundering of N4.9 billion.The EFCC said they allegedly committed the offence between January 8 and March 25, 2015 ahead of the 2015 general elections.
But Fani-Kayode objected to being tried before Justice Hassan and the defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Aikawa on May 15, on a similar charge.They pleaded not guilty and the judge adjourned till yesterday for a hearing of Usman’s application for the release of her travel documents and commencement of trial.