The trial of former director in the Police Pension Office, Mr Esai Dangabar, suffered a setback on Thursday following his death.
This came as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed a motion before Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja.
In the suit, the anti-graft agency sought to amend the charges in the criminal breach of trust and fraud to the tune of N14 billion in the police pension scheme, following the death of Dangabar who was the principal defendant and was facing charges alongside others.
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At the resumed, proceedings were stalled when the lead defence counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, announced to the court the death of Dangabar whom he said died on July 24, 2019.
In buttressing his point, Awomolo submitted the Garki Hospital death certificate of the defendant to the court and appreciated the concern and the accommodating spirit of the presiding judge, since the commencement of the trial.
“I respectfully appreciate his lordship for always giving the first defendant permission to travel for his treatment before his death. I pray for long life for his lordship,” he stated.
In his reaction, the prosecution counsel A. Atolagbe described Dangabar’s death as unfortunate and extended his condolences to his family.
He, therefore, prayed the court for more time to amend the charges since the deceased was no longer alive.
Atolagbe said, “My lord, I have seen the death certificate of the first defendant. It’s quite unfortunate.
“We will be asking for sometimes to regularise the charges since the deceased is no longer involved.”
Justice Hussein who also extended his sympathy to the family of the deceased and adjourned the case until December 5, for necessary amendments to the charges.