Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, queried the lawyer representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the rationale behind filing and obtaining a freezing order from another judge, on bank accounts of some of the defendants in the alleged fraud trial of former Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita.
Justice Taiwo, who is presiding over the case, was not happy that the EFCC’s counsel, M.S. Abubakar, ignored him and obtained such order from a fellow trial judge while the matter was before him.
“Why did you go to the other court to obtain an order? “ he asked.
The trial judge also said it would be okay if the EFCC counsel applied to the other judge (Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo) for withdrawal of the order and then “file it properly before me so I can take full control of this case.”
He said there was no need for a case to go on in two courts at the same time.
On his part, M.S. Abubakar told the judge that he had filed processes regarding that.
THE WHISTLER reported that the prosecution lawyer had said that the Commission realized it had to freeze bank accounts linked to some of the defendants (apart from Oyo-Ita) so as to effectively prosecute the case.
He said the accounts were associated with the case before Justice Taiwo and another case before Justice Inyang Ekwo, involving the trial of former Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki.
However, Justice Taiwo, on Thursday, adjourned to February 24, for “ruling”.
THE WHISTLER had reported that Oyo-Ita was arraigned before Justice Taiwo Taiwo’s court on March 23, by the EFCC, on an 18-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N471,633,291.
Other defendants in the case are Ubong Effiok (her special assistant), Garba Umar, Frontline Ace Global Services Limited, Asanaya Projects Ltd, Garba Umar Slopes International Ltd.; Gooddeal Investments Ltd; U & U Global Services Ltd, which is linked to Effiok and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.
But they had all pleaded not guilty to the charges.