A Federal High Court judge, Justice Ambrose Lewis Allagoa has threatened to close the prosecution’s case in the trial of Mr. Kenneth Amadi charged over an alleged N2.9 billion if, by the next adjourned date, the prosecution refuses/fails to bring their remaining witnesses to court.
Amadi is standing trial before the court on charges of fraud brought against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Justice Allagoa held that “If by the next adjourned date the prosecution fails to bring their witnesses for the proceedings to continue unhindered, I would not hesitate to close their case”.
The court gave the hint to close the prosecution’s case when the matter was called for continuation of trial and the prosecution told the court that they could not proceed with the trial slated for Friday, February 18, due to their inability to bring any of their witnesses.
Naham Damar who appeared for the prosecution told the court that the lead counsel was out on official duty and moreover, and the next witness, the IPO was not available.
She said that in such circumstances, she would be asking for an adjournment.
Responding, defence counsel, Dr. Monday Ubani opposed the prosecution’s request for adjournment.
He told that court that the defendant is desirous of concluding the matter and move on with his life.
He urged the court to ensure that if the prosecution is not ready to proceed by the next adjourned date, the court should close the prosecution case and allow the defendant to open his defence.
“My lord, recall that at last proceedings, the prosecution promised to bring the witness today and now the witness is not here, contrary to the agreement reached.
“I am opposing the request for adjournment. If the prosecution is not ready to continue, let them close their case. I want the matter to go on today, but my lord has his discretion”, Ubani submitted.
He reminded the court that there was a director who wrote the petition, stressing that if the IPO is not available, the director as the next witness should be called.
Following the submission of defence counsel, Justice Allagoa said it was agreed that the prosecution should bring their witness, however, according to counsel, the witness is outside for official duty.
He said the trial could have continued if the witnesses were in court, even without the lead counsel.
The judge stated that because the witness was not available, he would grant the request for adjournment.
Granting the request for adjournment, Justice Allagoa told counsel representing the AGF that if by the next adjourned date of March 24th and 25th, they refuse/fail to bring their witnesses for the matter to continue, he will have to close the prosecution’s case.
Recall that since the commencement of the trial, the prosecution has called two witnesses.
At last proceedings on January 20, the second prosecution witness and accountant with Eunisell Ltd, Mr. Philip Enejo Odekina had under cross-examination by Dr. Ubani, stated that the defendant Kenneth Amadi did not defraud Eunisell Ltd, the alleged N2.9 billion.