The trial of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and three others could not be heard today, June 18, 2019, due to the absence of the lead defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel to the former SGF.
The court setting held before Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court, Maitama, could not be heard today as the lead defence counsel was ill.
Lawal along with his younger brother, Hamidu David Lawal, one Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday and two companies, Rholavision EngineeringLtd and Josmon Technologies Ltd, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on an amended 10-count charge, bordering on fraud, diversion of funds and criminal conspiracy to the tune of over N500 million.
Temitope Adeyemi, who held brief for Chief Olujimi, SAN, asked the court for an adjournment, following Olujimi’s illness and absence.
According to Adeyemi, “The lead counsel in this matter is still indisposed as he had earlier told the court and has asked that I apologize for his absence in court and also ask for an adjournment to enable him be present in court.”
The prosecution counsel told the court that he was informed of the lead defense counsel’s illness and therefore will not oppose the application. The judge noted that there was no document in support of the adjournment application to show that the lead counsel was indisposed, but that he was disposed to giving the “learned silk” the benefit of the doubt.
Justice Jude Okeke then adjourned the case to July 4, 2019, noting that today’s adjournment was the second on the trot, given to the first defendant’s lead counsel.