The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has rejected the transfer of a money laundering case against former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide to a new judge.
She was arraigned last January 16 before Justice Muslim Hassan, but the case was transferred to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke at the instance of the defence.
When the case came up before Justice Aneke yesterday, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to reverse the transfer.
He argued that by the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, an application for transfer of a part-heard case must not be in writing.
He added that the trial had already gone far before Justice Hassan, with the case at a trial-within-trial stage to determine the admissibility of a document, before it was transferred.
“Whether rightly or wrongly, this matter is going through turbulence, a case of 2016. Why should we start afresh?” he asked.
But defence counsel Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) objected to the application, describing it as an “ambush”.
According to him, the prosecution ought to have made the application formal (in writing) and served it on the defence for it to reply.
The SAN prayed the court to refuse the application, saying that it should be brought properly.
His submission was adopted by other defence counsel.
Ruling, Justice Aneke agreed that the prosecution’s oral application was an “ambush”.
He ordered the EFCC to file a formal application for a reversal of the case transfer.
While EFCC is rejecting the transfer of Akinjide’s case after trial had begun, it was the commission that applied for the transfer of the trial of former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose to a new judge after 13 witnesses had testified for the prosecution.
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