AT the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday, the corruption trial of Abba Moro, a former Minister of Interior was stalled after the case was adjourned till February 25.
Moro, a serving senator representing Benue South senatorial zone is facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on allegations of procurement fraud, money laundering and allegedly defrauding Nigerian applicants who applied for employment in Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS to the tune of N675,675,000.
He is charged alongside Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former secretary in the ministry, F.O. Alayebami, a deputy director in the ministry, Mahmood Ahmadu, currently at large, and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm involved in the ill-fated recruitment exercise.
The presiding judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba agreed with the prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, to extend the time of the trial for the prosecuting team to submit its case.
The representative of the counsel to the first defendant, Eti Kehinde, also prayed the court for an extension of time in order to be able to serve no-case submission on behalf of his client.
Counsels for the second and fourth defendants also moved motions on notice for extension of time within which they may file their no-case submissions.
Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter until February 25 and March 25, 2020, respectively for the continuation of trial.
At a resumed hearing on January 28, 2020, the prosecuting counsel, Yusuf, filed a motion for the extension of the time within which the prosecution will file written submission in reply to the “no-case” submission filed by the third defendant.
While Moro was a serving minister, he spearheaded the collection of N1,000 obtained from each applicant through e-payment for the online recruitment exercise on March 15, 2014, an exercise in which 15 applicants died with scores injured due to the ministry’s poor preparations for the exercise.