By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) will today, for the third time, arraign a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), on amended money laundering charges.
The anti graft commission is to rearraign Adoke alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, on charges involving about N400million.
They were earlier arraigned on February 8, 2020, before Justice Binta Nyako, but their case file was later transferred to Justice Inyang Ekwo, also of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Justice Ekwo, had after the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 17, adjourned till yesterday(Monday) for the commencement of trial.
However, when the matter was called up, the trial could not commence as scheduled following an amendment of the charge by the prosecution.
The prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge which saw the earlier charge from seven to 14.
According to him, the amended charge filed on July 29, was served on all the defendants.
In his reaction, the judge expressed sadness that the anti-graft agency went ahead to file an amended charge a few days to the commencement of trial.
“From June 17 to July 17, you did nothing. That means you had one month and you didn’t file the amended charge. Just a few days to the trial, you filed an amended charge. A few days to when trial is to commence.
“Although you have freedom to amend your charge up to the time of judgment, I do not appreciate a situation where things are not done on time. This is a 2017 matter and I was thinking I could fast track it but now the prosecution has come up with an amendment,” he stated
While noting that he does not have the amended charge in the court file, the judge however said he could not say anything about the amended charge.
Subsequently, he adjourned till today, August 4, for re-arraingment on the amended charges and possibly hearing of the matter.