Lawyers decline cross-examination in Fani-Kayode’s trial
Lawyers representing the defence at the ongoing trial of the former minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday refused to cross-examine a prosecution witness at the federal high court, Lagos, on jurisdictional grounds.
At the resumed trial yesterday, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo concluded his examination in chief for the first prosecution witness (Pw1), Mr. Idowu Olusegun, a media consultant carrying on business under the name and style of Paste Posters Company Ltd.
After his testimony, counsel to the second accused (Nenadi Usman), Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), told the court that in light of pending applications before the court, which mainly are jurisdictional in nature, he cannot cross-examine the witness and that the provisions of sections 295 of the constitution ought to be considered.
According to him, the stage was ripe to request for hearing of his pending application dated November 11, 2016, seeking severance of the criminal charge of the accused.
He said he was concerned with the joint trial of the 1st and 2nd accused as well as the choice of Lagos as venue in a matter, which he said, had nothing to do with Lagos.
He noted that it was so tedious for his client to come from Abuja to Lagos on every adjourned date and spend not less than three days in Lagos, especially with all accounts frozen.
He, therefore, urged the court to adjourn the case for hearing and determination of pending applications.
On his part, counsel to the first accused (Fani-Kayode), Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN) aligned himself with the submissions of Owonikoko and urged the court to first hear applications touching on jurisdiction before proceeding.
Counsel to Yusuf Danjuma the 3rd accused, Mr. S.I Ameh (SAN) also aligned himself with the submissions of his brothers silk.
In response, the prosecutor objected to the prayers of defence and argued that the accused had already submitted to the jurisdiction of the court having pleaded to the charges.
After listening to counsels, justice Muslim Hassan adjourned the case to today) for ruling.