Hearing in the trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja ,his wife and Joe Agi (SAN), was on Monday stalled following compliant that prosecution witness was under threat .
At the resumed hearing on Monday, prosecution counsel Segun Jegede informed the court that the life of one of his witness, Dr. Shaibu Teidi is being threatened.
He said that the witness who was billed to testify had reported the threat to his life to the Police in Maitama division in Abuja.
Jegede added that the police had taken Teidi to a secured destination, a situation which he said prevented him from coming to court to testify.
Responding, counsel to Ademola, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN objected to the information being given by the prosecution on ground that such should have been communicated to him first.
In a short ruling, Justice Jude Okeke ruled that it was not ready to delve into the issue since it has been reported to the police. However, he urged the police to carry out its investigation on the allegation.
He further ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide security for the prosecution, its witnesses, the defence team and all their witnesses as well.
After the ruling Jegede prayed the court for adjournment till Wednesday for the continuation of trial adding that it will enable him to get his witnesses.
But the defence team vehemently objected to adjournment. Counsel to the three defendants, Ikpeazu (SAN), Roberts Clarke (SAN) and Jeph Njikonye submitted that the prosecution should apply to close his case or withdraw the charge if he has no more witness .
The prosecution had listed 14 witnesses but the team has only called six witnesses .The defence team said that since the allegation of threat to life is from only Teidi the prosecution should go ahead and call other witnesses .
The defence counsels further noted that the prosecution did not give any reason why he is seeking for an adjournment and that the grant of such application will portray the prosecution as being persecuting the defendants.
They further submitted that the pendency of the suit is hampering the dispensation of the duty of the first defendant who is a serving judge and the second defendant who is the current head of service of Lagos state.
In addition they added the application for adjournment is not in accord with intendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which provides for speedy dispensation of justice.
They however prayed the court to refuse the application and dismiss same.
In his ruling, Justice Okeke noted that the only reason the prosecution gave to seek for adjournment was because one of his witness was threatened and that he wanted to get across to his witnesses.
He cautioned the prosecution on the manner in which he is handling the prosecution of the defendants over the alleged receipt of gratification.
The Judge said the prosecution should be ready for the trial and warned that the court will no longer accept situation where the prosecution will continue to delay the trial .
Consequently, the Judge adjourned till January 31.