BY Abdulwahab Abdulah & Bartholomew Madukwe
LAGOS—A Lagos State High Court sitting at Igbosere has dismissed the objections raised by FinBank Plc (formerly First Inland Bank Plc) over a N670 million fraud charge instituted against it by Lagos State government.
Justice Christopher Balogun explained that when the decision of preliminary objection was dealt with, the defendant could then be compelled for the arraignment.
He said: “However, now that issue of preliminary objection has been dealt with, then it is now ripe to compel the defendant to be in court.”
Dismissing the objection on perjury raised by the defendant’s lawyer, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the court held that it would be immaterial whether the testimony was given on oath or under any other section authorised by law.
He added that it was immaterial whether the first testimony was given orally or in writing.
In his ruling, Justice Balogun disagreed with the objection of the defence counsel that the offence of perjury was unknown in any written law in Nigeria, citing Section 999 of the Criminal Code, Part 317 Laws of Lagos State 2003.
He said: “This court has carefully read the case of Onogoruwa v. the State 1993 (7) NWLR, part 308 and 31, which was hurdled through in the Abacha case supra. In both cases, prima facie evidence was said to be synonymous with sufficient evidence.”
“It is evidence which on the face of it, is sufficient to sustain the charge preferred against the accused. It is evidence, which in the judgment of the adjectival law, is sufficient to establish the guilt of the offence the accused is charged with.”