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Judge threatens to strike out ICPC case against Kawu Modibbo, others



By Our Reporter

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Wednesday, threatened to strike out the prosecution’s case in the trial of the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Kawu Modibbo and others.

The judge said she would close the case if the prosecution exhausted the limits to which they could take adjournments in a criminal case.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, (ICPC) is prosecuting Modibbo, Pinnacle Communications Ltd and two others over allegations of fraud in the Digital Switch Over project of the Federal Government.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Henry Emore informed the court that the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, who was supposed to appear as a witness was absent because the President sent him on an urgent assignment.

“My Lord, I’m still expecting him; When I put a call to him, the Personal Assistant (PA) said the President sent him on an urgent assignment.”

Emore subsequently sought for an adjournment to enable him bring the two remaining witnesses.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo reminded him that there were limits to which a court could grant adjournments in a criminal case.

“You think you can continue to waste the time of the court by asking for adjournments,” the Judge queried.

She warned that once Emore exhausted the limits for adjournments, she would not hesitate to close the case of the prosecution and ask the defence to open its case.

Meanwhile, the judge granted Modibbo permission to travel to Egypt to attend an International Telecommunications Union’s conference.

She ordered that his international passport be released to him for the purpose of facilitating his travelling formalities.

She, however, added that he must return his international passport to the registrar of the court upon return to Nigeria on or before Nov. 30.

She adjourned the matter until Oct.21, Dec. 3, Dec. 4 and Dec. 5 for continuation of trial



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