The ongoing trial of a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, for alleged N5.1bn fraud was stalled on Tuesday due to the absence of both the prosecutor and the accused in court.
While the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, wrote to the court to seek an adjournment on the grounds that he was appearing before the Court of Appeal, Dudafa’s lawyer, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole, said his client was “seriously ill.”
Oyewole told the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, that he was surprised when he got to court on Tuesday and did not see his client.
He said he was told by prison’s officials that Dudafa was not brought to court because he was ill.
Oyewole accused the EFCC of disobeying a court order, which ordered the release of Dudafa’s passport to the court’s registrar.
He said the EFCC prosecutor did not also inform him that he would be seeking an adjournment.
Justice Idris said the prosecutor had written to the court to seek an adjournment till Thursday, November 10, 2016.
The judge consequently adjourned further proceedings in the matter till Thursday.
Dudafa is being prosecuted alongside a banker, Joseph Iwuejo, on 23 counts of alleged N5.1bn fraud.
One of the counts against them read, “That you, Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa and Iwejuo Joseph Nna (a.k.a. Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah), on or about the 11th day of June, 2013 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: concealing the proceeds of crime in the sum of N 1, 667,162,800.00 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.”
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