By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, was again absent in court, yesterday, to testify as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Kawu Modibbo, Pinnacle Communications Ltd, and two others.
When the matter came up, the prosecution counsel, Henry Emore informed trial judge, Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo- Giwa that the Minister was absent in court because the President sent him on “an urgent assignment”.
“My Lord, I’m still expecting him; When I put a call to him, the PA said the President sent him on an urgent assignment, Umore told the court.
It will be recalled that the Minister is part of the presidential delegation to the United Kingdom in respect of the legal altercation between Nigeria and P&ID firm.
On the other remaining witness, Emore said he wished to subpoena him, which the judge later signed for it to have force of law.
Consequently, the prosecution counsel sought for an adjournment to enable him bring the two remaining witnesses.
Apparently not satisfied with the inability of the prosecution to produce his two remaining witnesses, the judge reminded him that there are limits to which a court can grant adjournment in a criminal case.
“You think you can continue to waste the time of the court by asking for adjournments, the Judge queried.
Consequently, the judge warned that once Emore exhausts the limit for an adjournment, she would not hesitate to close the case of the prosecution, and ask the defence to open their case.
Also yesterday, Justice Ogunbanjo-Giwa granted leave to the NBC boss to travel to Egypt to attend an International Telecommunications Union’s congress.
The judge ordered that “leave is hereby granted to the 1st defendant to travel to Egypt from October 28 to November 22, for the ITU congress.
Justice Giwa ordered that the international passport of the 1st defendant should be released to him for the purpose of facilitating his travelling formalities.
The court ordered that the 1st defendant must submit back his international passport to the registrar of the court upon return to Nigeria on or before November 30.
Justice Giwa said granting of the leave was predicated on a sworn affidavit to be filed in court by one of the sureties to face trial should the 1st defendant fails to return by to complete his trial.
More so, the court ordered that the said surety must deposit his international passport to the registrar of the Federal High Court Abuja.
The matter has been adjourned to October 21, December 3, 4 and 5 for continuation of trial.