The 13th prosecution witness, Ovie Akpoyibo an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), took the witness box. The witness who is serving at the Port Harcourt office of the commission narrated how the EFCC unsuccessfully failed to arrest a cashier to the Abia State Government House, Micheal Akpan Udoh.
According to him, “Udoh has been on the run and efforts to serve a court summons on him to appear as a witness in the case has also yielded no positive results.
“The testimony of the cashier is crucial to its case,” he added
The trial of a former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, and two others on allegations of fraud to the tune of about N3bn continued yesterday at a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
However, Counsel to the former Governor has however faulted the EFCC for the prolonged trial of his client.
Mr Charles Enwelunta told Justice Mohammed Idris that the prolonged trial is negatively taking its toll on the defendants. The other defence counsel agreed with this submission and urged the court to intervene.
But the Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs objected and insisted that there was no proof that the Commission was deliberately delaying the trial.
He further submitted that the defendants should instead blame themselves for any perceived delay in the case.
“The case was filed since 2007 and the defendants challenged the jurisdiction of the court up until 2015, before the Supreme Court made a final pronouncement on the issue. I cannot be forced to close my case because we need to bring the facts before the court”, he said.
Justice Idris held that it was not the courts duty to tell the EFCC how to conduct its case. He also assured parties that all issues in the case would be handled in accordance with the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Further hearing in the matter was then fixed for Today.