$40m Contract Scam: Absence Of Witnesses Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Cousin

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Absence of prosecution witnesses, Monday, stalled trial of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola and his wife, Stella.

The duo are answering to a seven-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) preferred against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

They are facing trial over alleged $40million contract scam.

At the resumed sitting on the case on Monday, EFCC lawyer, Mr. Tahir Sylvanus, regretted his inability to produce the witnesses, even as he pleaded for the matter to be adjourned till March 13 and 14. Mr. Tahir told the court that he would be able to assemble his witnesses and conclude his evidence-in-chief within two days and rest his case.

The adjournment request was not opposed by counsel to the defendants, Chief Chris Uche, SAN.

In a ruling, trial Justice Nnamdi Dimgba granted the request of the EFCC, even as he sought more cooperation of the parties for speedy determination of the case.

It will be recalled that Azibaola was arrested on March 23, 2016, and subsequently arraigned before the high court after he had spent 90 days in EFCC custody. The anti-graft agency has so far called four witnesses who have all denied knowing the defendants or having anything to do with their company, Oneplus Holdings Nig. Ltd.

One of the witnesses, Mr. Ibrahim Mahe, a retired Permanent Secretary in the former NSA’s office and EFCC’s star witness, told the court on June 28, 2016, that the funds to which the defendants are being prosecuted, was duly approved, adding that only the former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki, retd, could say otherwise.

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