Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court, Abuja, will on May 16 rule on a no case submission by Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze, who are standing trial for the Independence Day bombing at Eagle Square, Abuja, in 2010.
At the resumed hearing Monday, counsel to the first defendant, Emeka Okafor, who stood in for Samuel Izibiri, said the first defendant has filed a no case submission because the prosecution has been unable, through evidence before the court, to establish prima facie case against him.
He urged the court to dismiss all the charges against Okah.
According to Okafor, the sole issue for determination before the court is for it to determine credibility of evidence leading to element of proof.
“On the second point, on vital element of offence, no evidence of statement of account bearing the name of first defendant from which the said N2m was paid in perpetuation of the alleged offence before the court
“Failure to produce the account number, it is in our submission a failure of fundamental element to establish the alleged payment purportedly paid by first defendant to the second defendant.
“Oral evidence cannot override concrete fact. There is no prima facie case against the first defendant that he made payment to the second defendant. On the foregoing argument I urge the court to dismiss charges against the first defendant on credibility of evidence
“It is our final submission that Okah does not need to go through rigorous trial as the prosecutor has no evidence to prove any ingredient of offence he is charged with. We urge you my Lord to discharge him.”
Counsel for the second defendant, Oghenovo Otemu, aligned himself with the submission of counsel to the first defendant.
He held that the prosecution has not been able to link the defendant with the alleged offence he is charged with.
He said prosecution’s inability to link the second defendant with offences was fatal to the prosecution of his client, urging the court to uphold the no case submission and dismiss charges against the second defendant.
Responding, prosecution counsel, Alex Iziyon (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the no case submission by the defendants, saying the prosecution has been able to establish case against them.
Iziyon pleaded with court to order the defendants to face their trial. “In the written address we have been able to make a prima facie case against the defendants”, he said.
“The answer of linking the defendant with the N2m has been finally dealt with. We called bank officials as witnesses, who testified.
“I hold that evaluating the evidence, there is something for Okah to explain. Even in his evidence he confessed that he gave the second defendant the money. The defence counsel raising credibility of evidence should be put on hold until the totality of the case is determined.”
He urged the court to dismiss the no case submission “and ask them to enter their defence.”
Iziyon submitted further that It will be premature to expand the scope of linking both the first and second defendants.
“When we go into the merit of the case we will expand further the link between both. Suffice to say that the second defendant was the Chief of Staff of the first defendant, he coordinated the plans. The essential element of evidence has been established, he drove the vehicle, he has to explain his role in the matter. He has to explain what he was doing with vehicle welded with bomm. Was he selling pure water or carrying tomatoes with such a car? He has to explain his role, if any.
“I call on your Lordship to dismiss the no case application”, Iziyon summed.
Justice Kolawale after listening to both counsel, adjourned till May 16 for ruling on the matter.
At the last hearing, the prosecution closed his case after calling 17 witnesses to testify.
The 17th and last prosecution witness was an operative of the Department of State Security (DSS) Humphrey Ohikware.
Ohikware had during a cross examination by Okah’s counsel, Izibiri, told the court that he was not at the scene of the bomb blast.