Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday adjourned for further hearing, in the trial of the immediate past Interior Minister, Patrick Abba Moro to June 28, 2017.
Moro is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an eleven-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering in the ill-fated 2014 recruitment exercise of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), that led to the death of scores of job seekers.
He is standing trial alongside one-time Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; a Deputy Director in the Ministry, F. O Alayebami; one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large); and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm that was given the recruitment job.
The prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, at the resumed trial of the case today, presented his fourth witness, Muftau Bello, a senior manager with the Registry Department of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Abuja.
However, A. T. Kehinde, representing Moro objected, saying that Bello could not testify as he could not find documents relating to his statement as part of the exhibits earlier tendered before the court.
He argued that the prosecution had failed to comply with the provisions of Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.
According to him, the ACJA provides that, “an information shall be filed in the registry of the High Court before which the prosecution seeks to prosecute the offence, and shall include: the proof of evidence, consisting of, the list of witnesses, and any other relevant document as may be directed by the court.”
Kehinde, therefore, submitted that, “the witness is grossly incompetent to give evidence in this matter.”
S. I. Ameh, SAN, representing the fourth defendant, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, aligned himself with the submission of Moro’s counsel saying, “there is a need for all relevant documents to be submitted in order for the defence counsels to adequately prepare their arguments and not be ambushed or taken by surprise”.
Responding, Yusuf informed the court that, “Bello is a representative of CAC. Prior to his present designation, he was working with the Compliance Department and part of his schedule was to attend to complaints and enquires from government agencies”.
He added that “the witness is equipped with the background and knowledge of all the correspondences between CAC and EFCC” stressing that, he (Bello) had brought three evidences which were correspondences between the two organizations between 2014 and 2016”.
The documents were tendered in evidence, to which Ameh said that there was no need to cross examine the PW4 as the documents would be reviewed.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, thereafter, admitted the three documents as Exhibit AAFD 26, AAFD 27 and AAFD 28 and adjourned for further hearing.