Again, Lai Mohammed’s absence stalls NBC boss fraud trial
The trial of the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu, was on Monday stalled due to the absence of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in February, filed a 12-count charge before a judge, Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, against Mr Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa, and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively, for allegedly misappropriating N2.5 billion.
His defendant’s counsel, Akeem Mustapha, had also filed an application praying the court to allow the NBC boss to travel to Sharm El-Sheik in Egypt, venue of a conference scheduled for October 28 to November 22.
During the court session on Monday, the lawyer representing the ICPC, E Otti, said the matter was for continuation of trial but pleaded with the court that two of the prosecution witnesses to be presented to the court were absent.
The prosecution then prayed the court for an adjournment.
“They are taking us on a roller coaster ride and the plea for adjournment is another ploy to waste the precious time of the court,” he added.
“We urge Your Lordship to foreclose them and allow the defence to open their defence,” Mr Etuwewe added.
Mr Etuwewe reminded the court of the fact that on May 9, the prosecution called one witness, May 27 two witnesses, June 3 no witness, July 4 no witness and October 2 no witness.
Giving a short ruling, the judge, Folashade Ogunbanjo- Giwa said the court could not at the moment ascertain the records of adjournment taken by the prosecution counsel, and assured that she would check the court’s record.
“If you are interested in prosecuting this matter, please bring your witnesses to court on the next adjourned date.Read more: Premium Times
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