Posted by News Express | 2 June 2018 | 1,663 times
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Friday adjourned to June 21, 2018 for ruling on a no-case submission filed by a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Clement Illoh Onubuogo.
The defendant is facing trial on three-count charge bordering on stealing by conversion, and conversion of property to the tune N14,176,000.00.
Onubuogo, who was responsible for supervising numerous programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), allegedly awarded fictitious contracts to himself, using his personal company and friends.
The prosecution had, on March 7, 2018, closed its case against the defendant, following the cross-examination of the fourth prosecution witness, PW4, Theresa Braimoh, a retired Director in Productivity, Measurement and Labour Standard Organization.
During the last adjourned sitting, counsel to the defendant, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, announced to the court that he would be filing a no-case submission.
Consequently, Justice Taiwo adjourned till today (June 1, 2018) for the adoption of written addresses and hearing of no-case submission by the defendant.
At yesterday’s sitting, Ayorinde told the court that there was nothing linking his client to the charges preferred against him by the prosecution.
He, therefore, urged the court to strike out the case on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.
In his response, however, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who stood in for the lead prosecutor in the case, Nnemeka Omewa, told the court that the prayer of the defence amounted to contesting the obvious.
Oyedepo said: “The evidence of the four prosecution witnesses and the legally admissible evidence marked and admitted as exhibits A to F are enough to link the defendant to the charges preferred against him by the EFCC.”
Oyedepo further told the court that the defendant transferred public funds to the tune of N14,176,000.00 from NIMASA to his company, Clement & Bob Associate’s account for personal use, instead of retiring the money to NIMASA, adding that “in the extra-judicial statement made by the defendant, he admitted that he is the owner and signatory to the account of Clement & Bob Associate and that the company does not have any contract or business transaction with NIMASA.”
He, therefore, prayed the court to refuse the application of ‘no-case submission’ filed by the defendant.
After listening to both parties, Justice Taiwo adjourned ruling on the no-case submission filed by the defendant to June 21, 2018.
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