SUSWAM VS EFCC: JUDGE WITHDRAWS FROM SUSWAM’S TRIAL OVER BRIBE ALLEGATIONS


By: Ade Adesomoju 
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday withdrew from the trial of a former Governor of Benue State , Mr . Gabriel Suswam , and the Commissioner of Finance in his administration, Mr . Omodachi Okolobia .
The judge said his decision to withdraw from the case followed a publication on an online outfit , Saharareporters , accusing him of having been compromised to give Suswam a “ soft landing ” .
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Suswam and Okolobia on money laundering charges involving the alleged diversion of N3 ,111 , 008 , 018 .51 stolen from proceeds of the sale of shares owned by Benue State Government .
The fourth prosecution witness, Mr . Abubakar Umar , was to continue his testimony on Monday , when the judge raised the issue of the online publication shortly after lawyers announced their appearance.
Reacting , the prosecuting counsel , Mr . Rotimi Jacobs (SAN ) , Suswam ’s lawyer , Mr . Joseph Daudu , and that of Okolobia , all urged the judge to shun the report , which they said was the handiwork of mischief makers .
But in his ruling, Justice Mohammed said the best option was for him to withdraw from the case and remit the case file back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
He conceded that the online publication ought not to be taken seriously as it had become the trend in recent times to accuse judges of all sort of wrongdoings .
He said that of late , Justices of both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal had come under similar attack , but that the difference in his case is that the Justices of the appellate courts were eminent personalities unlike him who was inconsequential .
He said with the publication , if he decided to continue with the case the reasonable man on the street would say the report was true if he at the end of the day Suswam was acquitted and that “ the same reasonable man ” would say he has been intimidated by the report if the defendant was not acquitted.
Source: Nigeria Newspapers. Com. ng
SUSWAM VS EFCC: JUDGE WITHDRAWS FROM SUSWAM’S TRIAL OVER BRIBE ALLEGATIONS SUSWAM VS EFCC: JUDGE WITHDRAWS FROM SUSWAM’S TRIAL OVER BRIBE ALLEGATIONS Reviewed by Link Naija on 09:32:00 Rating: 5

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