Jalingo – A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to produce before the court the Taraba state gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC and third defendant, Sani Danladi over an alleged N450M fraud charge.
The order came on the heels of the failure of the anti graft agency to present him before the court on Wednesday, after directing the issuance of summons to him in the last sitting.
It would be recalled that on October 23, 2018, hearing was stalled because of his absence, while the first and second defendants, Joel Ikenya and Mark Useni, appeared before the court to face a two count charge of conspiracy and violation of financial regulation preferred against them by the EFCC.
Counsels to the first and second defendants, Festus Idepefo and Ibrahim Effiong, respectively, prayed the court to withdraw the case for failure of the anti graft agency to present the third defendant after two sittings.
They noted that the case was taking too long and that it was unjust to keep adjourning while the other defendant kept evading court sittings despite summons.
Counsel to the third defendant who was present at the sitting, Yakubu Maikasuwa, explained that the prosecuting counsel did not serve his client the summons, being why he was not present.
Counsel to the anti graft agency, Israel Akande who owned up to the third defendant’s counsel’s claim, prayed the court for the issuance of a substituted service of the same charge to the third defendant and requested a later date for hearing for the case to proceed.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Stephen Pam, ordered the anti graft agency to produce the third defendant, Sani Danladi, on the next adjourned date, January 15, 2019.
Meanwhile, a group of youths staged a protest outside the court premises over the absence of the third defendant to appear before the court.
The youths who carried different placards with various anti-Danladi inscriptions demanded that the anti graft agency ensure Sani Danladi was summoned.
One of the protesters, John Joshua, who spoke to newsmen said “we want the Federal government to know what is happening and for them to compel the third defendant to show up after evading two sittings. ”