Fayose’s Trial: EFCC Seeks Transfer Of Case From Judge, Alleges Bias

Fayose Won’t Be Intimidate, Ready To Defend Himself In Court – Aide
Former Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, at the EFCC office in Abuja on October 16, 2018.

 

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.

Court Fixes May 15 For Trial Of Chinese Nationals

JUDICIAL COURT STRIKEThe Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has fixed May 15, for trial of two Chinese and a Nigerian charged before it for allegedly importing sub-standard automobile tyres worth about five billion Naira.

The court fixed the date after granting the bail application of the three defendants in the sum of 10 million Naira each, with two sureties each in the same sum.

The defendants, Taolung Shen, Xu Jing Yao and one Chinedu Madubuike. were arraigned alongside two companies, Sino Nigeria Limited and NEDECA International Limited by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

In granting their bail applications, the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, ordered the two Chinese nationals to submit both their international passports and residential permit to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar.

The judge also ordered the two companies named in the charge to submit a bond of 10 million Naira each.

Chinese Nationals Arraigned For Allegedly Importing Fake Tyres

Chinese Nationals Charged For Allegedly Importing Fake TryesTwo Chinese nationals, Tao Shen and Jing Yau, on Wednesday appeared before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over charges bordering on alleged importation of fake tyres.

Shen, 36, and Yau, 22, were charged alongside a Nigerian, Chinedu Madubuike, and two companies, Sino Nig. Import and Export Ltd., and Nedeca International Ltd., on four counts bordering on importation of substandard products.

In the charge, the defendants were said to have committed the offence in February 2017 by allegedly conspiring to import tyres which do not meet the relevant Nigeria industrial standard.

They were also alleged to have stuffed various sizes of tyres into one, knowing same to be in a dangerous state, or injurious to human life.

However, their arraignment could not proceed, owing to the absence of a Chinese interpreter to translate the charges to them.

The trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, consequently ordered that an interpreter be produced in court at the next adjourned date for the defendants to take their plea.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned their arraignment till March 20, adding that the defendants be returned to custody where they came from.

EFCC Vs Fmr NIMASA DG: Court Fixes Feb 21 To Rule On ‘No Case Submission’

EFCC Vs Fmr NIMASA DG: Court Fixes Feb 21 To Rule On 'No Case Submission'A Federal High Court in Lagos has reserved February 21 for judgment in a “no case submission” filed by Calistus Obi, a former acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who is charged with a 136 million Naira fraud.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, fixed the date for judgment after hearing arguments from both defense and prosecuting counsels on the application.

Counsel to the former NIMASA boss, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wale Akoni, told the court that the EFCC had not made out a prima facie case to secure the conviction of the defendants.

He also told the court that what the prosecuting agency merely did was to ‘bring out all manners of evidence before the court without doing more’.

Another Senior Advocate, Joseph Nwobike who appeared for the second defendant, one Ali Dimas, also urged the court to uphold the same application made by his client.

The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, however, opposed these arguments and submitted that the prosecution had shown how funds were transferred and diverted by both defendants.

He urged the court to discountenance the application and instead ask the defendants to open their defense.

Justice Olatoregun then adjourned till February 21 for judgment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had preferred an eight count charge against Mr. Callistus Obi and the second defendant, Alu Dismas, a former personal assistant to former DG of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

They had however pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of five million naira each.