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Published On: Fri, Mar 21st, 2014

Epileptic power supply disrupts proceedings in Lagos High Court

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From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos

Many courts in the Ikeja High Court complex yesterday decided to conduct their proceedings in darkness due to persistent epileptic power supply.

There has been persistent power outage in the court in the past one week. Yesterday, no court was able to sit until about 11am when one of the power generating sets was switched on.

Even then, 30 minutes after proceedings kicked off, power supply from the generating set went off prompting some of the judges to suspend their proceedings.

However, some of the judges decided to continue sitting using torch lights to conduct their sittings.

Our correspondent who was at Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo’s court observed that the judge carried on with the day’s business with torch light.

Lawyers in the court also used lights from the phones since the courtroom was in pitch darkness.

The judge however rose about 10 minutes after unable to continue with the torch light.

It was also observed that Justice Kudirat Jose conducted part of her court proceedings in darkness for about five minutes before she could not go on with the proceeding.

The judge was scheduled yesterday to hear the bail application filed by alleged fraudster, Fred Ajudua.

It would be recalled that, Ajudua and his co-defendant, Charles Orie, are facing trial for defrauding Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two European businessmen, of $1.69 million (N287 million).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, accused Messrs Ajudua, Orie, Rasheed Adekunle, Abisola Fawehinmi, and Stephen Joiner (the last three are still at large) of committing the crime between 1999 and 2000.

Ajudua, who is also known as Isa Audu, and the others allegedly obtained the money from the businessmen as sundry payment to various government officials for payment of an $18 million contract No. FMA/EED/3040/S92, according to the EFCC.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge. Both defendants were first arraigned on 24th July, 2003, before Justice Joseph Olubunmi Oyewole.

But Ajudua’s disappearance during trial in 2007, after he was granted bail to seek medical check-up overseas, stalled the trial until early last year.

After his surprising reappearance, justice Oyewole declined to free him on bail, forcing his lawyers to approach a vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari, who granted his bail request.

Subsequent to the epileptic power supplied, Justice Jose adjourned till March 12 for hearing of the bail application filed by the defendants.

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