Plateau State High Court has fixed December 23 for the adoption of final written addresses on the alleged N6.3 billion fraud case against former Governor, Jonah Jang and his former cashier in the state cabinet office.
The presiding judge, Justice Daniel Longji, made the pronouncement shortly after the hearing of the case in which a mild drama unfolded.
Former Governor Jang and Yusuf Pam are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over 12 Count charge of alleged money laundering of the sum of N6.3 billion during Jang’s eight-year tenure as Governor of Plateau State between 2007 and 2015.
The judge had on November 18 fixed December 17 for hearing and ruling on the no-case submission filed by Jang, but at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the EFCC, H. O Ejiga, sought for another adjournment stating that the Commission was not ready to proceed with the case.
He blamed the defence counsel for failing to comply with the 14 days period earlier given by the court to file their no-case submission and accused the defence counsel of mischief for serving the submission to the EFCC office in Abuja instead of the office of the lead Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, which he claimed robbed the prosecution of the opportunity to file a reply within the time frame.
However, in his submission, Jang’s lead Counsel, Mike Ozekhome SAN, told the court that the reasons adduced by the EFCC not to go ahead with the matter was a ploy designed to ensure the court does not hear the matter anymore having seen the imminent defeat that awaits them.
Also speaking, Sunday Odey, lead Counsel to the 2nd defendant, Pam, relied on the submission of Ezokhome and said having violated the order of the court, the prosecution shouldn’t have been heard at all but for justice sake.
Justice Longji, in his ruling, after listening to the arguments by both counsels, ordered the prosecution counsel to apologise to the defense counsel, and Ejega quickly apologised with a promise it would not repeat itself.
The Judge further gave the EFCC 24 hours to file the necessary reply to the no-case submission sent by the defence team to enable the court to continue with the matter, and subsequently adjourned the case till December 23 for the continuation of hearing.