Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, has adjourned ruling on the application asking her to disqualify herself from further trial of Festus Adeyemi, an accused in the N8 billion CBN currency scam.
Ms. Abdulmaleek adjourned proceedings to May 24 following the absence of the defence counsel, Michael Lana, for no reason. Adebisi Adeniyi, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had earlier asked the court to take judicial note of the defence counsel, saying Mr. Lana was doing this for the third time.
“My Lord, this case, which is slated for ruling, will not be taking place today as a result of the absence of Mr Lana without any notice. “This is not in the interest of justice because all other accused persons want speedy trial and the trial cannot continue without first determining this very ruling,” said Adeniyi.
Lana had asked Justice Abdulmaleek to disqualify herself from further adjudication of the case involving his client, Adeyemi, accusing the judge of being biased. Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued during the proceedings when one R. O. Sadiq appeared as counsel to apply for the bail of the second, third and the fourth accused persons.
The prosecution, however, opposed the appearance of multiple counsel in the same matter. The judge, subsequently, upheld the objection of the prosecution. NAN reports that Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Kayode Togun, Isiaka Akano and Sunday Ajuwe with others, had since 2015 been standing trial.
The accused are facing multiple charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing and recirculation of mutilated currencies at the Ibadan office of CBN.