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‘Abuse of office’: EFCC files additional evidence against Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele, former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, former CBN governor

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed an additional proof of evidence against Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Emefiele and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are facing trial on a 26-count charge before a Lagos high court.

The former CBN governor and Omoile pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The commission had presented two witnesses to testify against Emefiele in the trial.

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At the resumed hearing on Friday, Olalekan Ojo, counsel to Emefiele, was expected to continue the cross-examination of John Ikechukwu Ayoh, the second prosecution witness.

But Ojo told the court that he just received the additional proof of evidence from the EFCC which was filed on Thursday.

The counsel said he needed to study the additional proof of evidence to be able to cross-examine the prosecution witness.

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He also accused Rotimi Oyedepo, EFCC counsel, of attempting to engage in “trial by ambush” at the expense of the defendants.

“My lord, there is a need to adjourn this case. We were just served these huge documents by the EFCC in court,” Ojo said.

“The prosecution keeps dumping documents on us at every sitting. This is trial by ambush.”

On his part, Adeyinka Kotoye, counsel to the second defendant, said he was served the additional proof of evidence five minutes after arriving in court.

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Kotoye accused the EFCC of not being diligent in the prosecution of the case and attempting to ambush the defence team.

In response, the EFCC counsel said it is unfair to describe the service of processes by the prosecution as “ambush by trial”.

Oyedepo said the additional proof of evidence served by the commission was part of the documents retrieved from the phone of John Adetona, a former aide to Emefiele, who was listed as a witness.

Oyedepo said the documents were served in preparation for the testimony to be given by Adetona before the court.

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He added that Adetona was not meant to appear before the court today or on May 9.

“The witness (Adetona) whose device the documents were printed from has not given evidence before the court,” Oyedepo said.

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“In preparation for his testimony which is not coming up today or May 9, the prosecution rather than waiting for the defense to formally place a demand for the hard copies, the prosecution team printed the documents out.

“How does that amount to prosecutorial unfairness?”

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Oyedepo prayed that the court should order the defence team to complete the cross-examination of the second prosecution witness.

He added that the new documents do not affect the continuation of cross-examination of the witness.

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In his ruling, Rahman Oshodi, the presiding judge, agreed with the defendants’ counsel and adjourned the matter to May 9.

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