N8 billion Currency Scam: To ‘delay trial’, accused wants judge removed

Naira notes
Naira notes

Michael Lana, the defence counsel to the fifth accused person, Festus Adeyemi, in the alleged N8 billion CBN currency scam case on Wednesday asked the trial judge to disqualify herself from the case.

Mr. Lana had filed an application, which was yet to be argued and ruled upon, asking Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek to disqualify herself as the trial judge because he no longer had confidence in her.

But Adebisi Adeniyi, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, expressed surprise at the attitude of the defence counsel in accusing the judge of bias.

He added that it was astonishing that Mr. Lana who should work towards an accelerated trial was now “employing delay tactics.”

Ms. Abdulmaleek adjourned the matter till February 17 for hearing and ruling on the application.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Mr. Lana had alleged that the EFCC was being treated as if it was in control of the court in the case.

Mr. Lana had also alleged that an EFCC officer had attempted to compel his client to opt for plea bargain.

Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Kayode Togun, Isaac Akao, Festus Adeyemi, Akeem Oyebamiji, Ayodeji Alese and Sunday Ajuwe along with others had since 2015 been standing trial.

They had been charged for multiple offences bordering on conspiracy, forgery, conversion, stealing and recirculation of mutilated currencies at the Ibadan branch of Central Bank of Nigeria.



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