Fayose’s Trial: EFCC Seeks Transfer Of Case From Judge, Alleges Bias
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of bias in the case involving the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
In a petition dated March 21, 2019 and signed by its acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, the anti-graft agency asked the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati to transfer the trial to another judge.
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Magu recalled that when the case was filed in 2018 and Justice Olatoregun who is the administrative judge of the court in Lagos assigned it to herself despite being from the same state with Fayose.
According to him, despite protests from many civil society organizations, the Justice Olatoregun still carried on with the case.
“Advocates for Anti-corruption and Sustainability of Good Governance in Nigeria, wrote a petition against the judge which petition was subsequently forwarded to the EFFC’s prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), for his comments and he replied expressing confidence in Justice Olatoregun,” the petition read in part.
Magu noted that EFCC is withdrawing its confidence in the trial judge after the altercation between her and the EFCC counsel in open court on the 20th of March, 2019.
On the said day, Justice Olatoregun was said to have engaged in “unrestrained, unprovoked, and unwarranted vituperations” against the prosecuting counsel which the petition says are indicative of the fact that she has an axe to grind with Mr Jacobs and the EFCC.
The petition stated further that the judge has confirmed the fears and doubts of the Civil Society Organisations and has made the commission agree with them that it cannot get justice on the case in her court.
“It is obvious that Justice Olatoregun cannot dispassionately and transparently try the case and the EFCC is constrained to state that it has lost confidence in her ability to do so. The EFCC, therefore, requests a transfer of the case to another judge of the court for trial,” Magu stated.
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