Connect with us

News

Alleged $9.8m fraud: Court rejects EFCC’s plea to play video against ex-NNPC GMD

Published

on

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to play a video evidence in the ongoing trial of Andrew Yakubu, former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, dismissed the application on the grounds that Yakubu was not the maker of the exhibits and as such, he could not be cross-examined based on those documents.

 

Recall that Justice Mohammed had, on June 30, fixed today for ruling on the anti-corruption agency’s application. 

 

The agency’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, had sought an order of the court to play video documents which were tendered while taking the evidence of the sixth prosecution witness (PW6) on Oct. 17, 2018, and admitted in evidence by the court in cross examining Yakubu, who was in the witness box as the first defence witness (DW1).

 

The court had marked the documents tendered as Exhibits “M,” “N” and “N1.”

 

While Exhibits “M” and “N” were compact discs, Exhibit “N1” was a memory card.

 

However, Counsel to the defendant, Ahmed Raji, SAN, opposed the EFCC’s application.

 

Raji had argued that Yakubu was not a maker of the exhibits which in the eyes of law were documents.

“This ought to have been done through  the witness who produced the document (PW6)  and who is the maker and who tendered exhibits in them,” he had said.

The senior lawyer also argued that allowing such application would be going contrary to “the directives of the Court of Appeal as to what is to be done in the suit.”

The EFCC lawyer also disagreed with Raji.

Abdullah had enjoined the court to look at the provisions of the Evidence Act as to whether a counsel in a trial has a right to make use of exhibits already before the court at any stage of proceedings in determining an issue, particularly in cross examination.

He submitted that an exhibit already before a court could be used to either establish a fact or dispel a fact at any stage of a proceeding.

“It is a right that can be enjoyed by both prosecution and defence.

“We urge my lord to so hold and answer this in affirmative,” he had said.

The Judge, however, disagreed with the EFCC in his ruling.

Justice Mohammed also deferred the agency’s fresh application to recall two prosecution witnesses (PWs) for a re-examination pending when Yakubu’s cross-examination is completed.

Abdullah had applied for a recall of two of the agency’s PWs in the trial following the court’s rejection of his request to play the video evidence.

But Raji opposed the prayer, arguing that since the EFCC had called all its witnesses and closed its case, “recalling those witnesses when the defendant had already opened his defence and he is in the witness box will only interrupt the proceeding.”

He also argued that allowing the prayer would not be doing justice to the defendant who had been in the witness box for over a year.

He urged the court to defer the anti-graft commission’s application until his client’s cross examination is completed.

Ruling, the judge noted that Yakubu, who had been in the witness box as DW1 (first defence witness) since July 8, 2020, had already given his evidence before the court.

Mohammed held that it would be unfair to keep the defendant in the witness box for over a year and grant such prayer when the cross examination was yet to be completed

“Therefore, the application to recall two witnesses is defer until the DW1 cross examination is completed,” he ruled.

Abdullah then applied for a short adjournment to enable him produce some documents which would be relevant in cross examining Yakubu.

Raji described the application as “a deliberate attempt to prolong the proceeding for reason known to the prosecution.”

He said in order to delay processing, the EFCC lawyer had been coming up with one application or another.

“My lord, I want it to be on record because if a defence counsel does this, especially senior lawyers, the same song will be ‘oh, they don’t allow criminal trials to move.

“My lord, a diligent prosecution would have come with everything,” he said.

Raji, who said application for adjournment was lacking in merit, urged the court to refuse it.

“It is against the spirit of justice and Administration of Criminal Justice Act),” he said.

The judge said though the court was not inclined to granting the plea considering the time the exercise had taken, he adjourned the case until July 29 for continuation of the cross examination of Yakubu.

TheNewsGuru.com, TNG reports that the anti-graft agency had, in 2017, raided the residence of the ex-NNPC boss in Kaduna and found 9, 772, 800 dollars and 74, 000 pounds (9.7 million dollars and 74, 000 pounds) in a safe.

Yakubu was, however, arraigned on March 16, 2017 on six counts but the trial court struck out counts five and six.

The Court of Appeal also ordered the former GMD to defend only count three and four which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through financial institution.

Lifestyle4 mins ago

How Often Should You Get Your Eyes Checked?

Entertainment18 mins ago

BBNaija 2021: Netizens Troll Female Housemates As They Make Grand Entry Into The Big Brother House

Entertainment42 mins ago

BBNaija 2021: Meet The Female Housemate With 11 Tattoos

World48 mins ago

Democratic Republic of Congo: Muslims murder at least 16 people, including 6 women and 2 children, in road ambush

News50 mins ago

BBNaija Season 6: Meet Arin, the housemate with 24 piercings and an “Ashewo” personality

Lifestyle58 mins ago

Urethra Diseases in Men and Women and How to Identify Them

Entertainment2 hours ago

BBNaija 2021: Ebuka’s Super Dapper Look For Launch Day 2 Tonight (Photos)

World2 hours ago

Nigeria: Muslims block road, kidnap Christian travelers, let the Muslims go on their way

Lifestyle2 hours ago

5 Key Facts About Thermography

Entertainment2 hours ago

Actress Etinosa Idemudia Becomes A New House Owner in Lagos (Photos)

Metro2 hours ago

Lady Gives Bestie the Beating of her Life for Sleeping with her Man

News3 hours ago

Trial of alleged killer Of Akwa Ibom jobseeker, Iniubong Umoren, begins on Monday

Lifestyle3 hours ago

How The Pain Killers Can Be Pain Causers? And How To Get Rid Of Them?

Politics3 hours ago

White Jesus Fix It! Tiffany D. Cross Calls Out “50-Year-Old” Bully And Blackface Connoisseur Megyn Kelly Over Attacks On Naomi Osaka

Entertainment3 hours ago

BBNaija 2021: Obi Cubana Throws His Support Behind Anambra Housemate, Cross

World3 hours ago

Ben & Jerry’s Board chair supports jihad terror against Israel, has defended Hamas and Hizballah

News3 hours ago

There won’t be bickering over choice of my successor –Umahi

Entertainment3 hours ago

Watch BBNaija Season 6 Housemate, Boma On American TV Series, The Blacklist

News4 hours ago

Comedienne/actress, Etinosa, acquires a home in Lagos

News4 hours ago

IPOB: Security alert in Abuja as Nnamdi Kanu faces trial tomorrow

News23 hours ago

Meet BBNaija housemate, Niyi’s beautiful Wife, Bella (Video/Photos)

News19 hours ago

“I’m a moving train, I’ll crush you” – Peruzzi reacts after being called out for walking out on fans (Video)

World5 hours ago

UK: Muslim reportedly stabs Christian speaker Hatun Tash at Speakers’ Corner

News17 hours ago

#BBNaija2021: Checkout impressive interior of the Big Brother house for this year’s edition (Photos)

Entertainment21 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: Photos Of “Happily Married” Niyi, With His Wife And Son

Entertainment23 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: Who Is Niyi? All The Facts About BBNaija 2021 Housemate Niyi

News8 hours ago

“So many fine boys in Nigeria but Big Brother decided to select the M*nkeys” – Bleached Nigerian Male-Barbie, Bobrisky writes.

News20 hours ago

BBNaija former housemate, Dorathy, reacts after seeing the “washing machine” in Biggies house this season

Entertainment24 hours ago

BBNaija Season 6: All You Need To Know About BBNaija 2021 Housemate JayPaul

Entertainment21 hours ago

BBNaija 2021: Who Is Sammie? All The Facts You Need To Know About BBNaija 2021 Housemate Sammie

News11 hours ago

BREAKING: Abducted students of Kaduna Baptist school regain freedom

News14 hours ago

Oyedepo reportedly pays graduate pastors N38,000 monthly

News15 hours ago

I was in debt before COVID-19 pandemic – Ubi Franklin

News4 hours ago

Family announces burial details of murdered Super TV CEO

News12 hours ago

#BBNaija 2021: Jaypaul reveals he was turned back day of 2020 premiere

News13 hours ago

Delta housewife allegedly stabs husband to death

News16 hours ago

Uzodinma to Imolites: Expose me if I ever steal public funds

News14 hours ago

Olamide reveals why he features artistes who have no platform

News16 hours ago

Igboho: It’s better for us to kill him in Benin than return him to Nigeria

Lifestyle22 hours ago

Five Important Things To Know Before Going For A Hair Transplant

Trending