Crime News

Nyako vs EFCC: What happened in court on Wednesday

ABUJA, Nigeria – Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, Counsel to the 3rd defendant in a suit filed by EFCC against Murtala Nyako, former Adamawa State Governor, and others; has appealed to the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the EFCC to produce three of its witnesses for cross-examination.

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Maikyau made the oral application, on Wednesday, before Justice Okon Abang.

Nyako is the 1st defendant, his son, Sen. Abdulaziz Nyako, is the 2nd defendant while Zulkifik Abba is the 3rd defendant in the case.

The EFCC had charged the former governor, along with others, with N40 billion fraud.

They were arraigned on a 37-count charge bordering on money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was Adamawa governor.

Also arraigned along with them was Abubakar Aliyu and firms allegedly used to perpetrate the fraud which were joined as the 5th to the 9th defendants were Blue Opal Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had indicated his interest to close his case, having taken the evidence of Kobis Arithimni, who was Secretary to Adamawa State Government during Nyako’s administration, via video link in the last sitting.

Justice Abang had, on Oct. 30, granted EFCC’s prayer to take Arithimni via video link.

Arithimni, who presently resides in the United Kingdom (UK), gave his testimony on Nov. 5.

However, Maikyau, who opposed to the closure of the case, on Wednesday, told the court that since the prosecution was unable to call all its witnesses on its list, the prosecution is under obligation, upon request by the defendant, to present such witnesses for purpose of cross examination by the defence.

“I stand to make the application on behalf of the 3rd defendant that the prosecution be directed by this honourable court to make available witnesses number 12, 26 and 27,” NAN quoted him as saying.

The lawyer, who noted that these witnesses were yet to be called by the EFCC, said the call became necessary in the spirit of fair hearing.

He acknowledged that though the prosecution is not bound to call all the witnesses listed by it, Maikyau said the 3rd defendant wanted to take advantage of the principle of law that has been made available to the defence which is only consistent to the principle of fair hearing.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Jacobs, who opposed the oral application, sought for more time to respond to the prayer and the earlier request by the 2nd defendant, Abdulaziz Nyako, to travel abroad.

Justice Abang adjourned until Nov. 19 to hear the prosecution’s reply.

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