By Michael Ojo
Justice C.A. Balogun of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, will on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 continue further hearing in the trial of Abubakar Ali Peters, Chairman, Nadabo Energy Limited, over oil subsidy fraud.
Peters alongside his company, Nababo Energy Limited, were arraigned on December 10, 2012 for offences bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of forged documents to the tune of N1, 464, 961, 978.24.
The defendants allegedly obtained the money from the Federal Government by falsely claiming that it represented the subsidy accrued to them.
They pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
At the resumed hearing of the case, which had suffered several adjournments since it began before the trial judge then at the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, on Thursday, November 26, 2020, the prosecution counsel, S.K. Atteh, could not continue with the examination of the fifth prosecution witness, PW5, Abdulrasheed Bawa, as the trial judge informed that he had a seminar to attend.
In view of this, the matter was adjourned to Monday, December 7, 2020.
At Monday’s sitting, the case, which was called up at about 11.12am, was stood down by the trial judge till 12.30pm.
When the case was later called up at about 1.30pm, with Atteh announcing his appearance for the prosecution and Kabeer Osunkunle representing the defendants, Bawa, also the investigating officer of the case, entered the dock to continue with his examination-in-chief.
At that juncture, the prosecution requested some exhibits from the Court.
The trial judge, who noted that in the aftermath of all that happened to courts at the Igbosere division, where many courts and documents were burnt during the EndSARS protests, added: “We secured exhibits very well because of the fire incident.”
Consequently, the Judge stood the case down and ordered one of the Court officials to get the exhibits requested for by the prosecution.
However, Justice Balogun later told both parties that “We are going to adjourn till 9a.m. on Tuesday, December 8and 9, 2020”, in order to allow for the exhibits to be fetched out by court officials for the continuation of the trial.
“The trial has taken too long already,” Justice Balogun said.