The absence of the stenographer at a Federal High Court in Abuja stalled the planned opening of trial in the case against the immediate past Head of Service of the Federation, HOSF, Winifred Oyo-Ita and nine others.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, filed an 18-count charge bordering on fraud against the accused.
Cross River born Oyo-Ita is charged with her Special Assistant, Ubong Effiok; Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar, his companies, Slopes International Limited and Gooddeal Investments Limited; U & U Global Services Limited (allegedly belonging to Effiok) and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.
At the mention of the case, prosecuting lawyer Mohammed Abubakar said the business of the day was for the prosecution to open its case. Abubakar said he had two witnesses in court and was ready to proceed, subject to the court’s convenience.
Although lawyers to the defendants said they were equally ready, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said the court could not proceed with the case because the stenographer was not available.
The judge said he was not comfortable recording proceedings with his hand and would prefer the stenographer was on hand.
He averred that since the case did not fall in the categories of those to be given special attention during the COVID-19 crisis, he would adjourn it till a later date.
On the agreement of lawyers to all the parties, Justice Taiwo adjourned till October 20. Oyo-Ita is accused of engaging in fraud in relation to Duty Tour Allowance, estacodes, conference fees and receiving kickbacks on contracts.
Culled from www.thenationonlineng.net
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