Abuja - Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court in Abuja has apologised for the delays characterising the case in which former Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Prof. Bridget Omotunde Sokan and others are accused of white collar crime.
The accused persons are accused of an assortment of crimes to the value of about N800 million (US$4,8 million).
Sokan is accused alongside Molkat Manasseh Mutfwang, Dr. Andrew Ekpunobi, Michael Aule and companies allegedly used in perpetrating the fraud, Intermarkets USA Intermarkets Nigeria Limited and Alexander John Cozman, a foreign contractor.
The persons were first arraigned on May 18, 2009 on a 63-count charge that borders on fraudulent inducement, criminal conspiracy and subversion of due processes in the award of contract and other offences.
However, little progress has been made regarding the case.
Justice Bello said that his inability to deliver the ruling on November 6, 2012 was due to the overwhelming volume of cases before him.
“I have to seek your consent in summoning you (accused) all in spite of the break to re-adopt your addresses before I can proceed in delivering this ruling,” he said.
The prosecution counsel, Wahab Shittu, urged the court to be guided by the fact that the only legal requirement at this stage for consideration was whether there was legally admissible evidence and material entitling the accused persons to respond to the accusation against them by way of defense.
- CAJ News