The trial of former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, and his then Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, has suffered a setback at the Federal High Court in Minna, the state capital.
Their trial could not hold on Monday as it was noted that the representative of Nasko’s counsel, Mamman Osman, had filed an application for adjournment based on the lawyer’s ill health, which he served on the prosecution and first defence counsel.
The Head of Media and Publicity at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the application for adjournment was filed on Thursday last week.
Although the counsel disclosed that he was in possession of Osman’s medical report, he declined reading it in court, stating that it was confidential.
In his reaction, the prosecution counsel, G.O. Adebola, objected to the application, noting that it was “bereft of reasons why adjournment has to be granted.”
Adebola decried that he had gone to a great length to bring witnesses from Abuja, Port Harcourt, and other places to the court, stressing that the defence was wasting the time of the court and that of the defendants.
But counsel to the former governor, Musa Sulaiman, supported the application, saying he was not aware of any human being that was immune to sickness.
The presiding judge, Justice Aminu Aliyu, gave a ruling in favour of the defence lawyer and adjourned until January 18 and 19, 2021, for the continued trial of the defendants.
Former Governor Aliyu and Mr Nasko are facing prosecution by the EFCC on amended three-count charges of breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
While the case was initially struck out on June 19, it was relisted on October 27 and adjourned till November 23 for hearing.