A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, on Monday, dismissed a request by a former Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Joshua Dariye, who is being prosecuted on fraud charges, seeking the recall of a prosecution witness, Mr. Peter Clarke, a former United Kingdom’s metropolitan police detective.

But the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, granted part of Dariye’s application seeking to recall the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s first prosecution witness, Mr. Musa Sunday, who is the Investigative Police Office.

Justice Banjoko, in a separate ruling, dismissed another application by Dariye asking the judge to disqualify herself from further presiding over the trial on the ground that she was allegedly bias in her handling of the trial.

The judge ruled that since the commencement of Dariye’s trial, she had kept to her judicial oath to be fair to all. 

She went ahead to dismiss the application asking her to withdraw from the trial for lacking in merit.

Dariye, a former governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007, and now senator representing Plateau Central, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on 23 counts of diversion of the N1.61bn ecological fund meant for land reclamation and flood channelisation works at Bokkos part of the state.

The case which had been to and returned from the Supreme Court, was filed in 2007.

The prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) had on June 10, 2016 closed its case after calling 16 witnesses among whom were Sunday and Clarke, who had travelled down to Nigeria from the UK to testify against Dariye as the ninth prosecution witness.

Dariye had subsequently opened his defence and had called 10 defence witnesses when he, through his lawyer, Mr. Garba Pwul (SAN), filed the application seeking the recall of Sunday and Clarke, to enable him to ask the witnesses some fresh questions.

SOURCE

punchng.com

06 March, 2017

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