Bello’s cousin’s trial: Court charges EFCC operatives on diligence, adjourns trial

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has warned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) to be diligent in the conduct of the trial.

The trial Judge, Justice James Omotosho made the pronouncement before shifting the trial date in the charges against Ali Bello and Suleiman Daudu till March 14. 

The Judge, who made this observation while ruling in a motion on notice filed by Suleiman Daudu challenging the amended charges, however, refused to quash the 17-count amended charge, involving alleged money laundering.

While granting accelerated hearing at the last sitting, the court threatened to close the charges against the defendants if the anti-graft agency (Prosecution) failed to get all its witnesses and exhibits ready on adjourned dates.

He warned that he would not tolerate lackadaisical attitude from any of the parties in the matter while shifting resumption of trial to March 14, 15, 20 and 21.

Justice Omotoso also directed the defendants to keep further objections against the trial at abeyance, especially to the final address stage.

The court also refused to transfer the trial of the two defendants to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, in line with the argument of the 2nd defendant through his counsel, Mr Jimoh Nureni, SAN, that since the alleged offence was committed in Lokoja, the proper and appropriate venue for trial should be at the Federal High Court in Lokoja.

“The Federal High Court in Nigeria is one and trials of any matter could be prosecuted in any of its divisions,” Omotosho held further.