Judge withdraws from Adegboruwa’s rrial
…As EFCC Drops Charges Against Ex-NIMASA Director’s Aide
A Federal High Court judge, Justice Oluremi Oguntoyibo handling the trial of activist-lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has withdrawn from the case.
The judge said she would return the case file to the Chief Judge, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for re-assignment to a new judge.
Justice Oguntoyibo said she was withdrawing from the case for personal reasons. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Adegboruwa May 12, 2016, for allegedly dealing in a seized property.
Out of nine witnesses listed to testify, EFCC has called two. The trial was billed to resume yesterday, but the judge gave no reasons as to why she was withdrawing.
The human rights lawyer was charged under Section 32 (1) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004. Adegboruwa and Jonathan Udeagbala, said to be at large, committed the alleged offence on August 13, 2013 in Lagos. The defendant allegedly conspired to lease the property at House 105, NICON Town Estate, Lekki.
Adegboruwa allegedly leased the property to Shelf Drilling Nigeria Limited for N61, 631,944.65, which were credited to his Zenith Bank account, with number 1010240758. The lawyer pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In related news, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday withdrew charges against four persons arraigned alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi before the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The four persons are erstwhile Special Advisers to Executive Director of the agency, Maritime Safety and Shipping who was the sixth accused, Governor Juan, Ugo Frederick, Timi Alari, and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.
Akpobolokemi and nine others were charged before Justice Saliu Saidu on December 3, 2015, on a 30-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds and money laundering.
Others accused persons include an Executive Director of the agency, Maritime Safety and Shipping, Eziekiel Agaba, Ekene Nwakuche; and Felix Bob-Nabena. Enisuoh, Juan, Frederick, Alari, Alkenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.