…Court adjourns to Feb 22, 23 for continuation of trial
Drama erupted on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Abuja when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that its main witness, Rabiu Musa, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN v. Ali Bello & Anor, had been scared away from trial.
The witness, an Abuja based Bureau De Change operator, was alleged to have been threatened, following his appearance at the last trial and got scared.
Lawyer to the anti-graft agency, Hannatu Kofamaisa, made the allegations at the resumed trial of Ali Bello and Daudu Suleiman.
She told Justice James Omotoso that the witness would not be in court to continue his evidence, based on his experience of threats at the last adjourned date, adding that she had called the witness five times but that he was no longer picking her calls.
Counsel to Ali Bello, Abdullahi Aliu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, told the court that he would not react to the EFCC’s allegations because they were not targeted at his client and did not oppose the request for an adjournment.
Drama, however, unfolded when the witness alleged to have been threatened away from court and would not attend the trial, suddenly walked into the court room without any signs of apprehension.
The counsel to Ali Bello got up and drew the attention of Justice Omotoso to the quiet arrival of the witness into the court room.
Justice Omotoso however doused tension when he prevented lawyers to Ali Bello and Daudu Suleman from joining issues with EFCC on the allegations.
In his testimony, the witness identitied one of his record books of transactions seized from him by EFCC during a raid of his office at Wuse, in Abuja and also admitted knowing Ali Bello.
Under cross examination by Nureni Jimoh SAN who stood for Daudu Suleman, the Bureau De Change operator who claimed to be an illiterate said most of the transactions were recorded for him by one Mubarak who he said was literate and now a student at a University.
He also admitted that parts of the transactions were recorded in his absence but that he was always briefed upon his arrival at the office.
Justice Omotoso thereafter fixed February 22 and 23 for continuation of trial.