Federal High Court Stops Proceedings On Trial Of HOS, Others

3 March 2021 By Victoria Abah

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has stopped proceedings in the ongoing trial of the former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and others.

The Judge in a ruling, described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s act in obtaining an ex-parte order for the freezing of bank accounts of the 4th, 5th and 6th defendants in the matter before another court as “an abuse of court process.”

Justice Taiwo, who described the EFCC’s conduct as “forum shopping” aimed at getting a favourable court judgment, said the anti-graft agency’s action was reprehensible and a contemptuous move that must not be allowed in the interest of justice.

The judge then ordered a stay of proceedings in the trial until the EFCC and its lawyer “do the needful” by withdrawing the application before the other court.

Justice Taiwo did not fix any date for the court to reconvene sitting on the matter.

Earlier, the defence lawyers had urged the court to discontinue the trial until EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, withdraws the application before Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo, describing the act as an abuse of court process.

Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita was arraigned
on March 23, 2020 alongside 8 others on an eighteen count charge bordering on Corruption and Money laundering, an offense they pleaded not guilty.

By Victoria Abah

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