Alleged Fraud: Absence of Judge Stalls Oyo-Ita’s Trial

The absence of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, stalled the trial continuation of the former Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita.
Justice Taiwo had, on July 8, adjourned hearing till October 20 and 21 October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oyo-Ita was, on March 20, arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 18-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N471, 633, 291.
Her Special Assistant, Ubong Effiok, and a businessman, Garba Umar are among the defendants.
Other defendants are Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Ltd; Garba Umar Slopes International Ltd; Gooddeal Investments Ltd; U & U Global Services Ltd, which is linked to Effiok and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, although counsel to all the parties, including the defendants, were in court, Justice Taiwo was absent.
The court registrar informed that the judge, who sat during the annual vacation of the Federal High Court, had proceeded on leave.
It would be recalled that the Federal High Court annual vacation, which began on July 27, ended on September 28.
The court, however, fixed December 1 and December 2 for continuation of the trial.

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