The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday deferred the arraignment of a former Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim, till October 5, following an application for his re-arraignment.
Mr. Ohakim is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly making a cash payment of $2.29 million for a land at Plot No. 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District of Abuja.
The property is located at No. 60, Kwame Nkrumah Street, Asokoro.
The matter was heard by Justice Adeniyi Ademola until the judge withdrew following allegations of fraud against the judge himself last year.
Mr. Ademola had in his last hearing of the matter refused a no-case submission by the former governor and ordered that the matter continue on October 10 last year.
However, following Mr. Ademola’s arrest and subsequent trial for alleged fraud on October 7, 2016, the case was transferred to another judge.
Mr. Ademola however returned to the bench after he was acquitted in court of the charges against him and recalled by the National Judicial Commission. He has since resumed sitting on most of his previous cases.
Mr. Ohakim was to be arraigned on Thursday before B.O. Quadri, the judge to which the case file was transferred, but his lawyer, Awa Kalu, informed the court of the application by the former governor to have the case returned to its former judge.
Mr. Kalu told the court that he had a letter addressed to the Federal High Court headquarters seeking the transfer of the matter to Mr. Ademola’s courtroom.
The prosecution did not object to the application, as a similar request had been made by the commission.
After seeing the letter, the judge adjourned the case till October 5 for ruling on the application for the re-transfer of the matter.