The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has adjourned the trial of a former speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji to September 30.
Ikuforiji and his former Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi are standing trial on the allegations of laundering N338.8m.
The duo are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 54-count charge.
They, however, pleaded not guilty before Justice Mohammed Liman and were allowed to continue on the bail terms earlier granted them by the previous trial judge.
Without coming out of his chambers, Justice Mohammed Liman ordered the Court Registrar to tell parties in the case that “in view of the directive of the Chief Judge that new trials should not be opened especially because of the impending transfer of judges, the case is adjourned till after vacation”.
The registrar then announced Sept 30 as the next adjourned date.
EFCC Counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, immediately raised a complaint saying that the annual vacation is expected to start in July and the Court could give any date before then but the registrar insisted that this was the directive of the judge.
There are indications that the transfer of judges will be done just before Easter to enable those affected to resume at their new post after the public holiday.
The transfer of this case by Justice Liman also appears to be in clear contravention of the provisions of Section 396 subsection 3 and 4 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which says upon arraignment, the trial of a defendant shall proceed from day to day and where impracticable, no party shall be entitled to an adjournment which shall not exceed 14 working days.