Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court Abuja has withdrawn from the trial of former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his former commissioner of finance, Okpanachi Oklobia over allegations that he may have been compromised.
An online media outfit had accused the judge of having been compromised to rule in favour of the former Governor. The judge consequently announced his withdrawal from the case.
Suswam and Oklobia are standing trial on charges of money laundering and diversion of over N3 billion stolen from the sale of shares which is owned by Benue state.
Trial had been adjourned till Monday for the fourth prosecution witness, Abubakar Umar, to continue with his testimony, and the day’s proceedings was about to commence when Justice Mohammed raised the issue of the online publication.
He said that his integrity had been called to question and whatever ruling he gives at the end of the trial would be seen as compromised.
However, both the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, and counsel to the defendant, Jacob Daudu urged the trial judge to discountenance the report and continue with the case but he said it would be in the interest of justice for him to transfer the case file back to the chief judge of the federal high court.