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Friday, February 26, 2021

N3.1bn Money Laundering: Court Adjourn Suswam's Trial till March 24

Justice A.R Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the money laundering trial of a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his co-defendant, Omadachi Okolobia, a former commissioner for finance, Benue State till March 24, 2021 for ruling on the defence objection to the examination of the fourth prosecution witness by counsel to EFCC, and continuation of trial.

At today's sitting, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the Court that the matter was for continuation of trial and prayed the Court to invite the PW4, Abubakar Umar to the witness box in order to continue the examination.

In view of the amended charges, learned silk sought the leave of the Court to revisit the evidence given by PW4 at the last adjourned date for purposes of elucidation.

However, the application was objected by counsel to the 1st defendant, C.E Obuozo on the grounds that, the amended charge does not affect the status of the witness. Obuozo added that there is a subsisting order of the court declaring the witness hostile, that the court cannot be dragged back and forth from stage of examination and cross-examination to re-examination.

She further stated that, from the proof of evidence accompanying the amended charges, there is nothing relating to the witness and urged the court to dismiss the application of the prosecution, close the examination of witness and allow cross-examination.

The prosecution in response informed the court that he is entitled to extract more facts from the witness and that parties are at liberty to call and recall witnesses in support of that amendment.

Justice Mohammed, after listening to the arguments of counsel, adjourned the matter till March 24, 2021.

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