After 7 years, corruption trial of former Enugu governor, Nnamani, yet to begin

Chimaroke Nnamani

Mr. Nnamani was first arraigned in 2007.

Seven years after he was first arraigned for money laundering, the trial of Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State, continues to be delayed.

On Wednesday, Abubakar Shamsudeen, the defense attorney, succeeded in obtaining another adjournment before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mr. Nnamani, Enugu governor from 1999-2007, is facing a 105-count charge of laundering N5 billion instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Mohammed Yinusa.

The judge’s absence in December stalled the trial, forcing the court to adjourn till March.

However, at the next adjourned date, Mr. Shamsudeen insisted that the day was meant for mention and not trial.

“Your lordship was attending a conference at the last date and so we agreed for a date for mention,” Mr. Shamsudeen said.

The prosecution disagreed, stating that criminal cases are never adjourned for mention.

“Every day is a trial day,” Kevin Uzozie, the EFCC lawyer, said.

The judge, while noting that there was a need to fasten the trial, adjourned till June 17th.

“We’ll fix very few matters on that day so we’ll have more time,” said Mr. Mohammed.

Mr. Nnamani was first arraigned before Justice Abubakar Tijani in 2007 alongside Sunday Anyaogu, his aide; Rainbownet (Nig) Ltd; Hillgate (Nig) Ltd; Cosmo FM; Capital City Automobile (Nig) Ltd; Renaissance University Teaching Hospital; and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

Three judges had handled the trial before it was transferred to Mr. Mohammed.

In April last year, the judge granted Mr. Nnamani leave to travel overseas for medical treatment – his lawyer said he was suffering from Hypercholesterolemia, a condition characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

The former governor’s overseas trip led to the court adjourning twice – first in May and then in September – because Mr. Nnamani had not returned.

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