A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, presided over by Justice Agatha Okeke has given Senator Albert Bassey, the nod to appeal its earlier ruling, rejecting the Senator’s no- case- submission.
Bassey is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a six-count charge of alleged money laundering and for being in possession of six vehicles worth N204 million, provided by one Olajide Omokoro whose companies allegedly executed contracts for the Akwa Ibom State government.
The EFCC had through its counsel, M. S. Abubakar, closed its case after calling several witnesses and tendered documents which were admitted in evidence.
However, when the matter came up on March 8, 2021, the defendant rather than enter his defence, introduced two motions, one for a no-case submission and the other asking the court to quash the charges against him.
But Abubakar opposed both motions and asked the court to reject the applications.
Ruling on the applications on March 8, the Court upheld the argument of the prosecution and dismissed the two applications as “incompetent” and ordered the defendant to enter his defence.
The matter was thereafter adjourned till April 29 and 30, 2021.
Dissatisfied by the ruling, the defence initiated fresh process, seeking leave of the court to appeal the ruling of March 8.
When the matter came up on Monday March 22, 2021, the defence counsel, I. F. Ukpah prayed the court to grant their prayers. The Court granted the request as prayed.
Similarly, the same court adjourned the trial of Uzoma Udemba, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Communication Trends Limited to March 24, 2021, for ruling on a no-case-submission filed by the defendant and two others.
Udember is being prosecuted by the Uyo zonal office of the EFCC alongside his company, Communication Trends Limited and one Samuel Onyeanuforo for allegedly rebroadcasting the English Premier League matches without the permission of the MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, the rights owner.
The prosecution, through its counsel, Nwandu Ukoha closed its case on February 25, 2021, after calling three witnesses who tendered documents that were admitted in evidence.