Justice Hammada Dashen of a Federal High Court, sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, has adjourned the trial of a former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama; Mohammed Kadai, a former state Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development; Abba Gana Tata; Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks, to March 20, 2019 following the absence of counsel to the fourth and fifth defendants.
Bulama is being prosecuted by the commission on a seven-count charge for the offence of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of over N 229 million.
Counsel to the fourth and the fifth defendants, J.J. Usman, sent in a letter to the court asking for an adjournment because of the general elections.
However, counsel for the EFCC, AlQasim Ja’afar, in his submission, urged the court to invoke Section 396(3) of the ACJA 2015, for a day-to-day trial.
Ja’afar said, “Justice in every criminal case must balance on the equilibrium to serve the interest of the prosecution, defendants and the general public. The enactment of the ACJA 2015 is to ensure speedy dispensation of cases.”
Ja’afar further noted that it was the seventh adjournment granted by the court at the instance of the defence counsel.
While adjourning the case, Justice Dashen, held that, “If counsel to the defendants are not ready, at the next adjourned date, the court will not hesitate to grant the application for day-to-day trial.”