The Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, adjourned the alleged fraud trial of a former Governor of Adamawa, Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdulaziz until March 10.
The EFCC had instituted 37-count alleged N29billion fraud charge against Nyako and his son.
Nyako and his co-defendants were to open their defence in the alleged N29 billion money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
When the matter was called, Nyako’s counsel, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, sought to tender certified true copies of some documents from the bar in defence of his client but this move was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.
Agabi told the court that since Jacobs was opposing the procedure adopted by the defence, it meant the defence was making the prosecution’s case easy.
“The prosecutor ought to be happy since we are employing a procedure which according to them is unknown to law, so that at the end of the day, they can say we do not have a defence and this should make their work easy,” Agabi said.
According to Agabi, the prosecutor is at liberty to say at the end of the day that the documents are irrelevant if they are tendered from the bar.
Another counsel on the defence team, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, also argued that it was wrong for Jacobs to say that tendering documents from the bar in criminal cases was unknown to law.
He cited some cases that had been decided by the Supreme Court with regards to the issue and urged the court to permit the procedure.
The prosecutor had argued that in criminal cases, documents were not dumped on the court.
He submitted that the procedure adopted by the defendants’ was unknown to criminal law as the documents in question were not such that the court could take judicial notice of.
“If they are judgments or court proceedings, they can be tendered from the bar but not contentious documents such as the ones sought to be tendered.
“The rule is that when a defendant is giving evidence and calling witnesses, he must first of all give evidence himself,” Jacobs said.
The Judge, Justice Okon Abang who is currently on transfer to the Warri, Delta division of the court, said he needed to adjourn the matter in order to read the authorities cited and give an informed ruling.
He adjourned the matter until March 10 for ruling on the matter and opening of defence.