A pastor, Anu Ojo-Olakunori, standing trial over alleged N28. 9 million fraud on Wednesday apologised to a Jos High Court judge after accusing her of bias in the matter pending before her.
Ojo-Olakunori and a couple, Kunle Farinuola and the wife, Josephine are standing trial before Justice Christine Dabup of High Court IV, Jos on grounds of conspiracy and fraud of N28.9 million.
Kunle and Josephine posed as the parents of Ojo-Olakunor in the alleged crime which the trio were accused to have conspired and swindled one Mrs Alabi of her N28.9 million.
The prosecution alleged that the defendants committed the act between December 2016 and February 2018 in Jos.
The case was last heard on Nov. 15, 2019, and adjourned for hearing to March 4, 2020.
But shortly after the last mention, the first accused, Anu Ojo-Olakunori wrote a letter to the Chief Judge requesting for the reassignment of the matter to another judge on grounds of bias.
When the case was mentioned on Wednesday, Justice Dabup demanded explanation for his action that pointed toward bias, noting that retired Justice Daniel Longji and Dabup were duly assigned to handle financial crimes related matters.
“The Chief Judge (CJ) drew my attention to a complaint you raised against me sometimes in December, 2019 to the effect the that I was bias toward you.
“What exactly did I do to warrant you writing such a wild allegations against my person?” , the judge asked.
After listening to the judge, Ojo-Olakunor told Dabup, `My Lord, I am very sorry for the letter and I have regretted my action, I ask for forgiveness.”
Ojo-Olakunor’s Counsel, Mr John Ogieva, who had in the last sitting withdrew his representation, pleaded with the judge to forgive Ojo-Olaunor after reintroducing himself as his counsel.
“My Lord, I am speaking as his counsel having discussed with my client and reconsidered my decision to withdraw my representation, we are sorry for everything and we hope you will forgive him,” he pleaded.
Dabup after listening to the first accused person, said she has nothing against him.
“I have granted you bail in this matter, but you were unable to meet the bail condition. What else do you want me do?,” she said.
Mr Joshua Saidi, Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), said he was not opposed to forgiving the first accused person and asked the court to continue with the business of the day.
Also speaking, S.O. Yakubu, counsel to the couple, who were 2nd and 3rd accused in the matter, said he did not have any objection to the application.