Thursday, May 19, 2011

Court fixes May 24 for El-Rufai trial

Justice Abubakar Umar of the FCT High Court has fixed Tuesday, May 24 for the commencement of the trial of former FCT Minister Nasir El-Rufai, former Director-General, Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS), Altine Jibrin and former AGIS General Manager, Ismail Iro.

They were arraigned on April 7 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged abuse of office and illegal re-allocation of plots of land in the FCT belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to their friends and family members.

The accused, who pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge, were thereafter, granted bail on liberal terms as pleaded by counsel to El-Rufai, Akin Olujinmi (SAN).
The trial, which was supposed to commence yesterday before Justice Umar, was adjourned after the court's clerk, Mr Akinwale Akinlolu, announced that the judge would not be sitting on matters involving his regular cases.

This, the registrar said, was because the Judge was sitting on a special Appeal Session to entertain cases on appeal from the Upper Area, and Magistrates' courts.

The Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Lawal Gummi, had assigned Justices Umar and Chioma Oji to sit on a special panel as appeal judges. The Appeal Session will end its sitting on Thursday, May 19.

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