The absence of witness who is a Forensic Expert from the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has stalled the alleged N450 million money laundering case against former Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Reng Ochekpe and two others.
It recalled that in a suit FHC/J/141C/2017O, Ochekpe and former acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Raymond Dabo and the state campaign coordinator of 2015 Goodluck Jonathan, Leo-Sunday Jitong were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a three-count charge of money laundering and conspiracy amounting to N450 million.
Even though the name of the Forensic Expert was not stated during the court proceeding on Friday, but the counsel to the EFCC, Ahmad Muntaka told court that their witness was absent because he was at Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state to give evidence regarding another case. “It is our constraint, we seek for adjournment to enable him come to court and give his evidence in this case.” He said.
Barr Sunday Oyawole who is the ex-minister Sarah Ochekpe’s counsel didn’t oppose the request for adjournment because, “The prosecuting counsel did explained to us about his challenge and we didn’t oppose it.” But Gyang Zi a counsel to the third defendant – State campaign coordinator of 2015 Goodluck Jonathan, Leo-Sunday Jitong- opposed the request for the adjournment, before urging the court to foreclose the case due to failure of the EFCC to prosecute their case.
The presiding judge Musa Kurya adjourned the case to 4pm today to enable the EFCC’s witness to come from Uyo and give his evidence, but after 30 minutes he adjourned the case to April 15th for definite hearing.