The former Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Demeji Bankole, has been under trial by the EFCC over a N9 Billion loan scam. And, it will be recalled that the judge presiding over the case, Justice Okorowo, had in July scheduled for four days (September 24th to 27th) to hear the matter.
This same judge had in December 2011, dismissed two applications filed by the former Speaker that sought to stop his trial. In the ruling, Justice Donatus Okorowo had held that there is sufficient evidence placed before the court linking him to the alleged crime.
However, come Monday 24th September, 2012, the date set by the judge for continuation of hearing on the case, the trial judge was conspicuously absent. It was later learnt that the case had to be stalled following the transfer of the trial judge Justice Donatus Okorowo from Abuja to Jalingo, Taraba state.
A disappointed EFCC prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo, told journalists he was waiting “to hear from the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court if Justice Okorowa will be coming from Taraba to preside over the trial or if the case will be assigned to another judge.” Keyamo concludes: “Anyhow it goes, this is part of the problem of corruption trial. It is for this reason that a special court for the trial of corruption cases remains the way out”.