By Michael Ojo
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos have dismissed the no case application filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigera, Mohammed Dele Belgore and former minster of National planning Professor Sulaimon Abubaka .
Justices Rilwan Aikawa on Thursday held that in veiw of the overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution it will be beter to apply a probative value to the evidence of the prosecution witness to be determined on its merit.
“I have read all the erudite submission of the respective counsel in support and in opposition to the no case application. I have form an opinion that the first and second defendant have case to answer.
Consequently the no case application is hereby dismissed and defendants should proceed to open their defence.
However counsel to Belgore Mr Seni Adio SAN informed the court that his client had an application asking the court to compel the prosecution to front load the 2nd additional statement made by Dele Belgore on the 28th of March, 2017 that wasn’t in the proof of evidence served on the defendants.
In a vehement opposition counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo said that the application filed since the 16th of January and was just served on us in court today is intended to delay this trial.
“The application is a gross abuse of court process because the prayers contain therein have been dealt with in the ruling on no case application of the first defendant therefore my Lord should strike it out.
Justice Aikawa was of the view that proper counter affidavit should be filed in opposition to the application to controvert the issue of facts raised.
The defendants were arraigned by the economic and financial crime commission EFCC last year for receiving the sum of N450m from former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison Maduekwe which is alleged to be proceeds of crime.
The defendants however pleaded not guilty to the seven counts charge pressed against them by the anti graft agency.
The judge later adjourned to 30th of April, 2018 for the hearing of first defendant’s application.