Alleged fraud: Again, Judge’s absence frustrates Ex-Hos Oyo-Ita’s trial

For the second time now, the absence of a trial Judge at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Wednesday, stalled the continuation of trial of a former Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Although, Blueprint confirmed the presence of parties in the matter, including the defendants and their counsels, the absence of Justice Taiwo Taiwo who was not in court, allegedly stalled the trial.

Oyo-Ita was arraigned before Mr Taiwo, on March 20, 2020, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 18-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N471.6 million

Her special sssistant, Ubong Effiok, and a businessman, Garba Umar, are among the defendants.

The case could not hold in October last year as scheduled because the judge proceeded on leave, having sat during the annual vacation of the Federal High Court.

Consequently, the matter was fixed for December 1.

Meanwhile, when the matter came up in December last year, counsel to the former HOS, Paul Erokoro, and other defendants’ lawyers, urged the court to adjourn the trial sine die over alleged abuse of court process by EFCC.

Subsequently, the judge then adjourned the ruling on the application and fixed trial for December 3, 2020, but the matter could not hold, and was rescheduled for January 13.

Despite repeated adjournments, the matter could still not be held as scheduled when the court Registrar told parties that the court would not be sitting. 

The matter was then fixed for January 28.