An oral application made by counsel to former Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperative in Oyo State, Kazeem Adedeji, to discharge him of alleged N77 million fraud, was yesterday dismissed by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Standing trial alongside the former commissioner are Yinka Fatoki, a former director in the ministry and Kolawole Adewole, a member of staff. They face a six-count charge on conspiracy and N77 million fraud.
Dismissing the application, after Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), counsel to Adedeji, informed the court of a letter written by the prosecutor, Mr. Effiong Asuquo, stating he was indisposed, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke in his ruling, said he would give the prosecution one more chance before reaching a decision, and would not dismiss the charge.
Oyetibo had earlier told the court that the reasons adduced by the prosecutor for his absence, were flimsy and a deliberate attempt to evade conducting trial.
“My lord, when this case came up on October 11 for argument of the bail of the accused, the prosecutor also deliberately refused to appear in court even though he was seen in the court premises.
“This court also ordered that the prosecution furnishes the defence with proof of evidence within seven days, but up till this moment, no response has been received from the prosecution.
“The prosecutor claims he is indisposed, but there is no medical certificate to that effect before your lordship.
“I therefore urge this court to invoke the provisions of Sections 80 of the Criminal Procedure Act, and dismiss the charge against the accused,” Oyetibo said.
The three accused persons were granted bail at the sum of N10 million each with two sureties each in like sum.