By Wandoo Sombo
Abuja, Sept. 9, 2020 The Federal High Court, Abuja has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against several requests for adjournment in the ongoing money laundering charge against former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Adoke is being prosecuted alongside Aliyu Abubakar, a businessman.
Justice Inyang Ekwo warned the anti-graft agency at the resumed trial on Wednesday after the EFCC lawyer, Bala Sanga asked the court for an adjournment following the absence of the fifth prosecution witness in court.
Justice Ekwo told the prosecuting counsel to note that there was a limit to the number of adjournments he could request for.
Sanga informed the court that the fifth prosecution witness had to be subpoenaed because he had became hesitant and was refusing to attend court to testify in the matter.
The EFCC had on Aug. 11, asked for an adjournment after failing to serve witness statements on the defendants.
An adjournment was also granted on Sept. 7 at the instance of the EFCC after counsel to Abubakar informed the court that the statement of the fourth prosecution witness was not added to the proof of evidence served on them.
According to section 396(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), “where day to day trial is impracticable after arraignment, no party shall be entitled to more than five adjournments from arraignment to final judgment…”
Earlier, Farouk Suleiman, a bureau de change (BDC) operator, told the court that Abubakar had given him cheques totalling N2 billion and asked him to change it to the dollar equivalent sometime in Sept. 2013.
Suleiman, the fourth prosecution witness said he cleared the cheques through Farsman Holdings Limited, his company account, with Heritage Bank.
However, under cross-examination by Abubakar’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, Suleiman said neither the cheques nor the receipt of transactions had the name of Abubakar.
He said the cheques were drawn in the name of Equal Access Limited.
Adoke and Abubakar were re-arraigned by the EFCC on Aug. 4, on an amended 14-count charge bordering on money laundering.