N8bn CBN currency scam: EFCC accuses defence counsel of arm-twisting, disrespecting court
NEWS DIGEST –Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, counsel to the EFCC on Monday accused Mr Olayinka Bolanle of arm-twisting and disrespecting the court by deliberately absenting himself from defending his client in court.
Expressing his frustration over the general attitude of all the defense counsel in the case of alleged N8 billion CBN currency scam, Adeniyi called on Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, to impose a fine on defaulting lawyers..
“My lord, this idea of treating the court with disdain should not be encouraged because one of the professional duty of any counsel is punctuality in court.
“When they go out there, they blame the judiciary and the prosecution for not ensuring justice.
“I can even cite many instances in which the court had adjourned this matter either at the instance of the first, second or the third accused persons.
“I can also remember that your lordship will no longer accommodate counsel who are not diligent in coming to court on time; counsel who have by their conducts shown that they don’t have respect for the constitution should not be allowed to continue here.
“You cannot be disrespecting the constitution at some instance and be relying on the same constitution for fair hearing at another instance.
“My lord, fair hearing is not only meant for the accused, the State is also entitled to fair hearing.
“the two witnesses we have in court today are from Abuja and they spent tax payers’ money on their trip.
“The defense counsel have for so long frustrated the smooth trial of this case,” Adeniyi lamented.
However, Mr Evans Jones-Osimeroh, counsel to the second and third accused persons prayed the court to in the instance of justice and fair hearing adjourned the case at the instance of Bolanle, counsel to the first defendant.
In a ruling, Justice Ayo-Emmanuel, said that he not inclined to grant any further adjournment in the matter.
“in view of the series of adjournments that have been granted in this matter, I am not inclined to grant any further adjournment.
“When cases are fixed for hearing, counsel should take the opportunity to make themselves available in court,” the Judge ruled.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kolawole Babalola, the first accused, Muniru Olaniran, the second accused and the Kayode Togun third accused, along with others have since 2015 been facing multiple charges bordering on stealing and recirculation of N8 billion at Ibadan office of CBN.
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