Arraignment of Supreme Court Officials Moved To Dec 15

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The scheduled arraignment of three officials of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Registrar, Ahmed Saleh, on allegations of N2.2 billion fraud, has been shifted to December 15.

Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, had filed a corruption case against the three officials before the Jabi Division of the FCT high court, accusing them of diverting funds meant for the Supreme Court to the tune of N2.2 billion.

They were also accused of receiving gratifications totaling N74.4m from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

However, the arraignment, which was scheduled to hold on Thursday, had to be postponed due to the inability of one of the accused persons, Muhammed Sharif, to attend the hearing.

His counsel, Garba Tetengi, SAN, told the trial Judge, Abba Mohammed that his client was indisposed and on admission at the hospital.

Prior to the adjournment of the case, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mohammed Umar, who appeared for the prosecution, later handed over to Charles Adeogun-Philips, who will be leading the Federal Government’ team in subsequent proceedings.

According to the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Adeogun-Philips, an-England based legal practitioner, had worked as a genocide and war crime prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, ICC, in the Hague.

Umar said that the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, relied on the provisions of section 174(1) of the Constitution to hand over the prosecution of the case to the international lawyer.

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Apart from Sharif, the other two accused were in court, also all the three accused, including Sharif who was absent, had their lawyers in court.




     

     

    The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court was represented by Abdulhakeem Mustapha, SAN, while Lawal was represented by I.K Sanusi, SAN.

    Announcing his client’s absence, Sharif’s lawyer, Tentengi said the defendant was on admission at a hospital and therefore pleaded with the judge to adjourn the case.

    Adeogun-Philips expressed reservation about the failure of the defence lawyer to present any document to support his claims that the defendant was on hospital admission, the judge said the arraignment could not hold since all the accused were jointly charged.

    Justice Mohammed adjourned the case till December 15.

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