By Innocent ANABA
LAGOS – A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till May 24, 2011, for the arraignment of the former Managing Director of Union Bank Plc, Mr. Bartholomew Ebong, and five others on a fresh 20-count charge, bordering on fraud brought against them by by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Ebong is standing trial alongside Mr. Henry Onyemem, Mr. Niyi Albert Opeodu, Managing Director of Falcon Securities Limited, Mr. Peter Ololo and his company. At the hearing of the matter, yesterday, prosecution counsel told the court that the matter was coming up before the judge for the first time and that the fresh charge should be read to the accused persons.
This was, however, opposed by counsel to first accused person, who argued that there was a pending preliminary objection before the court.
Counsel to Ebong, also argued, “when the amended charge was served on us, we filed a motion dated May 11, 2010 and we drew the attention of the court to section 167 and 215 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) to the effect that any objection to the charge should be taken first.
“The former Chief Judge directed us to put it in writing and we did that before the matter was transferred,” he added.
Meanwhile, trial judge in the matter, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, noted that since the case had just been transferred to her, she needed time to study the file and subsequently, adjourned the matter till May 24.