By Soni Daniel
Abuja—Justice Abubakar Sadiq Umar of the FCT High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja, yesterday, refused to stop further hearing on a suit filed by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, against former Minister of Aviation, Babalola Borishade, and four others as prayed by the defendant’s counsel.
Borishade, his former personal assistant, Tunde Dairo, and two others are alleged to have mismanaged N5.2 billion Aviation Safe Tower contract.
Others on trial for the alleged offence are former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Rowland Iyayi; an Australian, George Eider and Avsatel Communications Ltd.
The defendants had been on trial since November 19, 2009, when they were arraigned by the EFCC on a 15-count charge of taking bribe and forging aviation contract documents.
The matter which was slated for Wednesday, February 3, 2016, could not go on as planned as the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, requested for a brief on the case by the EFCC since the matter had been in court for about seven years.
Consequent upon AGF’s request, the EFCC had furnished his office with the brief of the case and the proceedings that had transpired over time regarding the matter.
Ruling on the application, yesterday, Justice Umar said withdrawal from a case by a lawyer from a private firm did not constitute abandonment or lack of appearance of the prosecution.
Consequently, he ruled that the application by counsel to the defendants to foreclose or discharge the defendants was refused and ordered the prosecution to continue its case.
Thereafter, Okoroma presented PW 10, Reuben Omosigho, an operative with the Economic Governance Unit of the EFCC.
However, Ogunwumiju raised an objection, saying that the evidence of the PW 10 was already on record and needed no duplication, but cross-examination.
His objection was sustained by the court.