-Nnamani charged to court over allegations of N5.3bn fraud
-Court adjourned case over absence of Nnamani, EFCC’s lawyer
Nnamani to be re-arraigned on December 4
The Lagos Federal High Court on Thursday fixed December 4, 2017 for the re-arraignment of former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani.
Nnamani was charged to court by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of fraud of N5.3bn.
Though the hearing was earlier fixed for Thursday before Justice Chuka Obiozor, the case could not hold as a result of the absence of both the prosecutor, Kelvin Uzozie, and Nnamani himself, who was said to be out of the country.
When the case was mentioned on Thursday, a lawyer from the law firm of Ricky Tarfa (NAN), M. Bamidele, representing the defendant, told the court that the time his chamber was served with hearing notice was short.
Bamidele said the law firm was served six days earlier, and the time was too short forhis defendant, Nnamani to appear in court, since the ex-governor was out of the country. Bamidele added that the chambers had not been able to reach Nnamani.
On the part of the prosecuting counsel for EFCC, Uzozie, wrote to the court seeking an adjournment.
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Justice Obiozor, consequently, fixed December 4 for the re-arraignment of the ex-governor and his co-defendants.
The judge rejected the plea by the defence lawyer for longer adjournment to enable the firm adequate time to contact Nnamani.
Justice Obiozor said having just been assigned with the case which has lasted for 10 years; he could not be seen to be allowing further delay in the case.
Justice Obiozor is the fourth judge to handle the case, which began in 2007.
The case has been handled by Justices Tijani Abubakar, Charles Archibong (retd.), and Mohammed Yunusa, who was suspended by the National Judicial Council over corruption allegations.
The trial has been stalled since July 5, 2015, when some of the defendants entered into a plea bargain and forfeited their assets before Justice Yunusa.