Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting Abuja, on Wednesday, granted the request by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for its witness, one Mr. Kobis who is based abroad, to testify through video link in the ongoing trial of former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, and seven others.
They are being prosecuted on 37 counts of money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was governor of Adamawa State.
Others charged alongside the former governor are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu and four companies: Blue Opal Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd, and Crust Energy Ltd.
Justice Abang had on Tuesday, October 29, reserved till Wednesday, October 30, ruling on the application by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, seeking the permission of the court for his witness to testify via video link.
Jacobs had told the court that all efforts made by the anti-graft agency to get the witness to testify before the court failed, citing health and security concerns.
The trial judge while noting that the request was novel, said, “I intend to carefully conserve the statutory provisions cited by learned counsel representing the parties before the court takes a decision on the issue”.
Ruling on the application on Wednesday, October 30, Justice Abang stated that it was not too much a sacrifice to grant the application stressing that the prosecution had been diligent and the defence, as well, since the commencement of the matter; adding that both parties have been impressive.
He emphasised that notwithstanding the time to get justice, that justice must be done, adding that it will not be a proper exercise of discretion if the request is not granted to allow the prosecution to call its witnesses.
Justice Abang adjourned to November 5, 2019, for the continuation of trial.