A Federal High Court in Lagos has shifted the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and three others over an alleged 4.6 billion naira fraud to Tuesday.
The ruling was given after the defence counsel, Mr Norrison Quakers, told the court that he had just been briefed about the matter on Sunday evening.
He noted that he would need time to study the case file and requested for parties in the matter to meet with the judge at his chambers.
Mr Fani-Kayode’s lawyer added that the outcome of the discussions would help the court to arrive at an informed decision on the matter.
Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkereuwen Anana, however, opposed the request.
He maintained that any fresh issue on the matter should be raised in the open court.
Meanwhile, other defence lawyers, who weighed in on the matter, pleaded with the court to grant Mr Quakers’ request.
In a short ruling on Monday, Justice Hassan declined to grant any audience at his chambers with parties in the matter.
He asked Mr Fani-Kayode’s lawyer to put forward his thoughts in a formal application.
The judge consequently adjourned further hearing on the matter till Tuesday, January 17.
The EFCC had on June 28, 2016 arraigned the former minister and three others on a 17-count charge over an alleged fraud.
The other defendants are a former Minister of State for Finance, Mrs Nenadi Usman, one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail by the court.