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Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2014

Drama as police intercept Goje, aides before court proceeding

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Armed policemen yesterday in Gombe quizzed former governor, Mohammed Danjuma Goje and his two aides before they attended a court proceeding.

The police were said to have been posted to Federal High Court in Gombe, to checkmate law and order and ensure that the court proceedings is being maintained in an orderly manner.

The former governor, who came alongside two other accused persons at the Federal High Court where he is standing trial for allegedly stealing the sum of N25 billion belonging to Gombe state government, were yesterday refused access into the court hall during court proceedings.

Our correspondent reports that immediately Goje and his aides arrived at the gate of the court, they were stopped by the police for questioning before allowing the governor into the court’s hall.

It took the intervention of the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, who ordered that the two accused persons should be allowed in, when the defendant raised an alarm that his clients were denied entry into the court’s hall.

According to our correspondent, the police did not only deny them access to enter the court hall, but also seized their vehicle in the process.

Our correspondent also reports that the Justice Quadri had to summon the police officer-in-charge, CSP Patrick Odemele to brief the court on what transpired at the gate.

The police officer briefed the court that he was not at the gate when the drama took place but however, noted that he had met with his men on the matter. The presiding judge gave a directive that the police should release the vehicle belonging to the accused person without further delay and urged the police to liaise with the accused persons through written agreement.

Giving their argument, counsel to the Financial Crimes Commission Mr. Wahab Shittu told the court that he was unable to come along with his witness in the court because the witness appealed that he was suffering from kidney disease and said he may be travelling to India on health grounds.

According to him, he could not tell the court whether the witness had travelled or is still in Abuja, because effort to meet him proved abortive, as the commission also made frantic efforts to see him but failed.

He said he would have loved to give further details concerning his health problem but had no medical report that can guarantee him on the matter, noting that he contacted the chairman of the Commission, the Secretary and the Director, Operation of the EFCC on the said matter.

He then filed an appeal to apply for adjournment, to enable him come with the witness so that he can be able to testify on the matter.

On his part, the defendant Mr. Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) who denied the appeal letter before the court, said he was served in the morning, which according to him, meant that the witness must be in the court in order to testify the allegation against Sen. Goje.

Justice Babatunde Quadri, however, adjourned the case to June 10 and 11 for hearing.

 

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