N1.162bn Fraud: Judge Adjourns Dariye’s Case to March 2

Justice Adebukola
Banjoko of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT High Court, Gudu, has
fixed March 2, 2017 for further proceedings in the trial of Joshua
Dariye, a former governor of Plateau State. He is facing a N1.162
billion fraud charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The
Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice U.I. Bello had on January
23, 2017 thrown out Dariye’s letter seeking for transfer of his case to
another judge, and ordered him to go and continue with the trial as his
allegation of “manifest and undisguised bias” was baseless and
unfounded.
The
said letter dated December 13, 2016 had stalled the last sitting of
January 18, 2017 prompting the trial judge to adjourn to February 15,
2017 pending the instruction of the CJ. Pwul had also brought before the
court two motions, one which was dated December 6, 2016 asking for the
“recall of some prosecution witnesses”, and the other dated December 13,
2016 asking the judge to disqualify his lordship from presiding over
the case.
At today’s sitting, Pwul who was
sighted at the court premises was not in the courtroom, but instead sent
Dashuwar Nantok to represent the defence. Dariye gave a rather wry
smile as he took his place in the dock.
But
the day’s proceeding could not continue, as Nantok informed the court
that “we need time to reply to prosecution’s response to the two
motions, which we only received on Monday, February 13, 2017”.
Prosecution
counsel, O.A. Atolagbe, however pointed out to the court that “with the
decision of the Chief Judge dismissing Dariye’s allegation of bias
against your lordship, events seem to have overtaken the second motion”.
But
the trial judge, noted that since “it has not been withdrawn by the
defence, we’ll be back here on March 2, for adoption of motions and
responses”.
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