Court shifts hearing in EFCC’S charges against Bello to July 4

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday fixed July 4, 2023, for continuation of hearing in the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Ali Bello and another defendant.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, Justice James Omotosho, held that he would be minded to adjourn the matter rather than have the witness testify halfway and return for cross examination.

Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, represented the EFCC, while Z.E. Abbass, Esq, represented Ali Bello and Daud Suleiman.

Abbass had informed the Court that he was ready for trial but that it was only to the extent of the Examination-in-Chief of the Witness in the witness box

When the matter was mentioned, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo SAN, who represented the anti-graft agency, informed the court that he had his witness in court and was ready to proceed with the trial.

However, counsel to Ali Bello, Mr Z. E Abbas, informed the court that he was also ready for hearing, but only to the extent of the examination in chief of the witness from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) who was in the box the last time.

He informed the court that the two senior advocates in the matter were unavoidably absent, but they sent their apologies to the court.

He also told the court that his instruction was to get an adjournment to enable the senior lawyer to personally cross examine the witness.

On his part, Oyedepo confirmed that the senior lawyer, Mr A. M Aliyu SAN, phoned him to the effect that he would be before the Presidential Election Petition Court and that if he finishes in good time, he will join up or his junior can take the witness in chief while he takes a date for cross-examination.

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Justice James Omotoso, however, cut in and stated that he was not willing to do a piecemeal hearing and would rather take the Examination-in-Chief and proceed to cross-examination on the same date.

The court, upon the agreement of counsel, subsequently adjourned till July 4, 2023, for continuation of trial.

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