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Absence of witness stalls Dariye’s trial

21 October 2016, 07:39

Abuja - Absence of defence witness on Thursday stalled trial a former Governor of Plateau, Joshua Dariye, before an FCT High Court.

Defence Counsel, Nantok Dashuwl, holding brief for Garba Pwul (SAN), told the Court that the witness slated for Thursday travelled and had yet to return.

He said that some other defence witnesses were also being expected to testify in the matter.

Dashuwl consequently applied for adjournment of the case.

However, Prosecution Counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said that the defence had notified the court that it would provide three witnesses in court on Thursday.

"On the last adjourned date, he said he had three witnesses and your lordship said that he must present all his witnesses today," Jacobs noted.

Also read: Indicted judge shuns EFCC summons

He submitted that he would oppose any other application by defence for adjournment and file an application for it to close its case.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko cautioned the defence against incessant applications for adjournment.

"This is a case which should be heard at the rooftop, otherwise it will remain like this for the next seven years.

"If one party is not able to go on today, there must be justification," she said.

The accused, Dariye, told the court that defence witnesses were afraid of testifying against the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

"In a situation where people’s houses are invaded, people are scared; the experience is enough for them to run away," Dariye said.

He, however, gave the assurance that the witnesses would testify on the next adjourned date.

Banjoko adjourned the case till October 26 for continuation of evidence by defence.

Dariye is standing trial for alleged diversion of N1.16 billion ecological fund belonging to Plateau government.

- NAN

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