18 September 2017

Nigeria: Court Adjourns Ex-Governor Joshua Dariye's Alleged N1.162 Billion Fraud Trial

An Federal Capital Territory High Court in Gudu, on Monday adjourned the trial of former Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau until October10 at the instance of the defence.

Dariye is facing a 21-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of ecological fund to the tune of N1.162 billion.

Dariye's new counsel, former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), asked for the adjournment to enable him get acquainted with the case.

"I am appealing for the very last time and beg you on my knees. I have also pleaded with Rotimi Jacobs, grant us one more adjournment to get acquainted with the case," Agabi said.

In his response, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's (EFCC) prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told the court that the case had lingered for so long.

Jacobs noted that the judge had advised the defendant to bring a counsel who will continue with the case when his former counsel withdrew from the matter.

He said the defendant had called 16 witnesses, but yet to close his case.

He reminded the court that it was while Agabi was the Attorney General of the Federation that Dariye was arrested and investigated.

According to him, the UK has even refunded some of the stolen funds recovered from Dariye to the Federal Government.

"How can he then come and appear as defence counsel," Jacobs queried.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko, in granting the adjournment, said that she did that in the interest of justice.

Banjoko also said that she expected the defence counsel to honour his word and study the case.

"Now that you are here, I know you will live up to expectation," she said.

The judge also ordered that the new counsel be furnished with the records of proceedings to enable him get acquainted with the case.

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