By Innocent Anaba & AbdulWahab Abdulah
The Court of Appeal in Lagos has adjourned till December 1, further hearing inÂ the appeal by Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party (PDP) andÂ former chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was sentenced to two and half years imprisonment by a Lagos High Court, last month.
George is praying the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
Hearing in the appeal could not go on yesterday, following the insistence of counsel to the other convicts, ex-managing director of NPA, Mr. Aminu Dabo; Captain O. Abidoye, Alhaji Abdullahi Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maidaribe and Mr. Sule Aliyu, that their appeals be taken alongside that ofÂ George.
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday failed to re-arraign the former managing director of Finbank NigeriaÂ Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu and three other directors of the bank before a Federal High Court, Lagos.
EFCC had brought a fresh 90-count charges against Nwosu, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike over alleged insider-abuse and manipulations of the bankâ€™s shares, running into several millions of naira.
In the Georgeâ€™s case, after counsel announced their appearance, counsel to Dabo, Abidoye, Tafida, Maidaribe and Aliyu prayed the court for the appeals to be consolidated.
But, counsel to EFCC opposed the application. It was only after repeated argument by the counsel to the applicants that the EFCC counsel conceded to allow the applicants consolidate their appeals.
But, the court said even if it agreed to hear all the appeal at once, that it was only Georgeâ€™s appeal that was before the court.
It consequently adjourned the matter to allow for all the other appeals to be brought before the court.
But the judge, Justice Dongban-Mensem, said: â€œI want to correct a wrong notion that the application filed by the first appellant (Bode George) was specially selected to be heard today.
”There is nothing special about it. We have not seen other applications. These applications are not before us and how could we take applications that are not before us?â€
The court noted that since no date had been assigned to the other five applications, it simply meant that they were not ripe for hearing. This was, however, before parties agreed for the consolidation of the appeals.