Defence Counsel Stalled NAMA Boss, Ibrahim Abdulsalami Trial
The trial of a former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Ibrahim Abdulsalami before Justice Babs Kuewunmi of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, has been stalled at the instance of defence counsel Victor Okpara.
Abdusalami is charged along six others for allegedly defrauded the agency of about seven billion naira fraud stalled.
Besides Abdusalami, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Adegorite’s wife, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, who is the Managing Director of Multeng Travels and Tours Limited; Clara Aliche, Bola Akinribido and Sesebor Abiodun and two Limited Liability companies Randville Investment limited, Multeng Travels and Tours Limited.
They were facing a twenty four count amended information bordering on conspiracy, fraud, forgery and unlawful conversion of funds before Justice Kuewunmi led court.
So far, EFCC had called three witnesses, including a Zenith Bank Compliance officer, Teslim Ajuwon and one Temitope Olanrewaju.
At the resumed hearing of the charges against the defendants today, Mrs. Rachel B, who stood in for Mr. Victor Opara, told the court that her principal was in Abuja, for his SANship program.
Mr. Victor Opara is among the lawyers shortlisted for elevation to the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioner Privilege Committees, LPPC.
But the prosecutor, Mrs. Bilikisu Buhari-Bala, while not opposed to the Counsel’s request for adjournment, told the court that she was not served with the letter written by Mr Opara.
Justice Kuewunmi, who came from another jurisdiction to preside over the matter, frowned at the adjournment request of Mr. Opara, while warned that such will no longer be entertained.
However, at the consent of all parties, the matter was adjourned till December 8 and 9, for the continuation of trial.
The EFCC in one of the 24 count criminal charges marked FHC/L/145C/2016, alleged that all the defendants and one Nnamdi Udoh still at large, have between January 31, 2013 and September 3, 2015, with intent to defraud and by false pretence conspired together to induced the Agency to deliver the sum of N2, 847, 523, 975 billion, to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd under the pretence that the said sum represented the cost of clearing consignments belonging to the Agency.
The defendants were also alleged to have converted various sums of money amounting to N4, 003, 532, 608.90 belonging to the Agency, to their personal use.
The offences according to the antigraft agency, contravened Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, 2016 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.