Anti-corruption: HEDA/Adoke, Malami: Judge Berates Counsel For Lack Of Diligence, Others

Following the proceedings yesterday at the federal high court in Abuja before Justice Binta Nyako, over cyberstalking charges filed by the Attorney General of the federation & Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Abubaker Malami (SAN) against the Chairman of Human & Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), Suraju Olanrewaju, on OPL245 scam, also referred to as Malabu scandal, which fingered a former Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, (as one of those accused), the prosecuting team led by A.O Shuaib, has been berated by Justice Binta Nyako for lack of diligence and clear evidence against the defendant (Mr. Suraju Olarenwaju) of HEDA Resource Centre.

 

Addressing the court, Counsel to Suraju, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) told the court the prosecuting counsel failed to serve accused with any ‘Proof of Evidence’ and upon that there was no way the plea of the defendant could be taken without him (Suraju) knowing what the body of evidence were, and he (Shuaib) did not respond to HEDA’s preliminary objections neither did he respond to its application for bail.

 

It was gathered that there was a little drama in court as the prosecution tried to claim that the proof of evidence was served but the Judge, Hon Justice Nyako punctured the attempt because no such document existed also in her own file too. The prosecution then proceeded to say that they didn’t file a reply to the bail application because they (Prosecution team) is not opposing the bail application as they (Prosecution) understood that the matter is a bailable charge.

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Reacting, the Judge was very displeased with the prosecuting counsel and hesitantly schooled him on the implications of their lack of diligence especially because the matter was originally slated to come up in November 2021. She lamented that the lack of diligence by the prosecution and the futile argument being proffered was giving her headache and threatening her health.

 

She therefore adjourned to 7th February 2022 and threatened that if the prosecution did not tidy up her case, she would simply strike out the matter.

 

Suraju had earlier reaffirmed that the charges filed against him in this instance would never deter him in any way. “We want to reiterate our resolve to stand against every enemy of the citizens especially those in public sector who have decided to misuse and abuse the people’s mandate to manage Public resources. We shall not give up in the fight against injustice, maladministration, mismanagement of public resources and other inhuman treatments

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