Alleged N2.5bn DSO Fraud: Court slams ICPC over witnesses

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court on Monday again frowned at the ICPC over its constant failure to provide witnesses in court in the trial of Mr Kawu Modibbo, Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ICPC charged Modibbo, Pinnacle Communications Ltd and two others with alleged misappropriation of N2.5 billion for the Digital Switch Over project of the Federal Government.

The other defendants are, Dipo Onifade and Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman, Pinnacle Communications Ltd and they are being prosecuted on 12-count charges.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo also warned the ICPC to desist from the act of requesting for adjournments.

“You can not continue in this manner because it would not be in your interest.

“You didn’t bring your witnesses in the last three sittings of this case and this is not beneficial to your case.

“If you are having challenges, you know the options available as I don’t have to tell you.

“See the writing on the wall now that they are urging the court to close the case.

“I will adjourn the case with the hope that the prosecution will come with their witnesses at the next adjourned date, ”she said.

The Judge adjourned the the case until Nov.3, Nov.4, and Nov.5 for continuation of trial.

NAN reports that the Judge had on Oct. 2, threatened to strike out the prosecution’s case after he would have exhausted the limits of requests for adjournments in a criminal case.

Earlier, ICPC Counsel, Mr E.C. Otti, told the court that  one of his witness was unavoidably absent from court because he was out of the country.

Otti promised the court that the agency will do its best to ensure all its witnesses appear in court at the next sitting to enable him make progress and close his case.