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Court fails to deliver ruling on former NFF boss

16 December 2015, 12:00

Abuja – A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday failed to deliver ruling on the corruption case against a former President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Sani Lulu Abdullahi, and three others while in office - Taiwo Ogunjobi, Amanze Uchegbulam, and Bolaji Ojo-Oba.

Journalists and members of the public who besieged Court Eight of the Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice F.S. Chukwu left the Court yesterday disappointed as the much anticipated ruling on the corruption case could not be delivered.

The ruling was earlier slated for December 15, but when the Court resumed sitting yesterday, Justice F.S. Chukwu stunned those who expected the case to be delivered that he was not in the position to give ruling on the “no case” submission by the defendants counsels in October.

According to the presiding judge: “I am not in the position to make any ruling on this case today or give judgment on it because my registrar gave me the case file barely 10 minutes ago. I need enough time therefore to study it before I can give my ruling.”

After consulting the various parties, the case which has lingered for almost six years was rescheduled for February 16, 2016 for ruling.

Also read: Lulu: PTF wrongfully takes credit

Chief Sunday Ameh (SAN), leading counsel for the defendants had on October 8 announced to the court on the pending motion of no-case-submission.

He had said: “My Lord, my clients have filed a joint no-case-submission on three grounds why they should not stand this trial.

“We have duly served the prosecution team and some responses received from them.

“We will be glad if the court allows us to move the motion with the hope of getting this case behind us,’’ he said. However, the move was immediately countered by the prosecution counsel, Mr Titus Ashaolu (SAN) who cited some unresolved variables.

According to him, the prosecution was yet to respond to all the matters raised in the motion by the defence counsel.

Justice Chukwu, had ordered all the parties to file written addresses on the matter for onward presentation which they did. At the last hearing in Abuja on November 5, the three counsels to the accused persons prayed the court to dismiss the case brought against their clients by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2010.

Sunday Ameh (SAN), counsel to Lulu, said: “my Lord, based on our documents and arguments on the no-case-submission filed, I plead on the court to grant the request of no-case-to-answer for his client.”

Akin Olujimi (SAN), counsel to Uchegbulam and Ogunjobi also prayed the court to dismiss the case on lack of evidence against his clients.

“My Lord, based on our written address filed on Oct. 23 of a no-case-submission for the second and fourth defendants, I pray the court to discharge the accused.

“We hope to get this case behind us,” he said.

The move was however, countered by Mr Titus Ashaolu (SAN), the prosecution counsel, who prayed the court to treat the accused applications with disfavor.

He said: “having responded to the applications of the defendants for a no-case-submission, I request my Lord that the court discountenance all the applications to enable them answer for their charges.

“The defendants need to defend themselves in the case brought against them.”

The presiding Judge, Justice Chukwu, later adjourned the matter to February 16 for ruling on the arguments of the prosecution and defense counsels.

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- News24


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