Minister Jonathan's trial: what happened in court on Thursday

Thursday, Federal High Court Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke, Ikoyi, Lagos, adjourned the prosecution of the alleged N650 million fraud case involving Jumoke Akinjide, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) , and two other leaders of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

They are Senator Ayo Adeseun and Olanrewaju Otiti.

Akinjide served in the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The trio is on trial for a modified charge of 24 counts, bordering on money laundering to the tune of 650 million nairons brought against them by the Commission on Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC.

Akinjide and his co-defendants were arrested on January 16, 2018 before judge Muslim Hassan on 24 counts, for which they pleaded not guilty.

However, following an application by the accused, the case was subsequently referred to the court of Justice Aneke.

At today’s hearing, the first prosecution witness (PW1), Kehinde Adeniyi, chief operating officer, Fidelity Bank, Bodija branch, Ibadan, Oyo state, told the court in cross-examination by the counsel for the first accused, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, whom she recalled the events of March 25, 2015 when the defendants allegedly cashed the said sum at the bank, as indicated in her written statement.

Defense counsel sought to make the witness understand that the date March 25, 2015 did not match the date she gave in her testimony in court and offered to file the witness’s written statement as an exhibit, that prosecution lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo punished for failing the test of section 232 of the Evidence Act, which requires that defense counsel confront the witness on conflicting dates and seek clarification before asking the payment of documents.

Consequently, Aneke J. adjourned the case until Friday, January 17, 2020 for decision and continuation of the trial.