The arraignment of the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Ahmed Saleh, and two others has been postponed due to the ill health of one of the accused, Muhammed Abdulrahman, the Director of Finance at the apex court.
Garba Tetengi, counsel to Mr. Abdulrahman, had told Justice Abba Mohammed of the€€€€ Federal High Court, Jabi, Abuja, before the arraignment, that his client could not appear due to ill health. He said his client was on admittance at a hospital.
The duo were due to be arraigned alongside Rilwanu Lawal, Chief Accountant of the Supreme Court, on a nine-count criminal charge for allegedly diverting N2.2billion belonging to the apex court.
Adeogu Philip, prosecuting counsel, however informed the court that he was not served with any documents to support the absence of the 2nd defendant, but would not object to the adjournment in consideration of the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) as regards arraignment in a joint trial.
With the consent of counsel to the 1st and 3rd defendants, the judge adjourned the arraignment to December 15.
The accused persons were alleged to have agreed to divert N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme Court into a personal bank account domiciled at the United Bank for Africa Plc account No. 2027642863 and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act.
It was also alleged that the defendants obtained gratifications to the tune of N80 million contrary to Section 10 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences (ICPC) Act.
It was also alleged that a N2.4 million gratification was obtained from Welcon Nigeria Ltd, N16 million from Dean Musa Nig. Ltd, N19 million from Ababia Ventures Ltd, all being private contractors who provided services to the apex court.