Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, adjourned till May 30 and 31, 2023 for further hearing in the alleged N2.8bn fraud trial involving a former Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Authority, NAMA, Ibrahim Abdulsalam and others.
Abdulsalam is facing trial alongside Nnamdi Udoh (still at large), Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Segun Agbolade, Clara Aliche, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, Randville Invesment Limited and Multeng Travels and Tours Limited for conspiring to induce the Agency to deliver the sum of N2.8billion to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedule Systems Limited on the pretext that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA’s consignments.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, Nnamdi Udoh (still at large) Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Clara Aliche, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, Randville Investment Limited and Multeng Travels and Tours Limited, on or about August 19, 2013, in Lagos, with intent to defraud conspired to induce the NAMA to deliver N2,847,523,975.00 to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedules Systems Limited under the pretence that the said sum represented the cost of clearing consignments belonging to the said Agency.”
The Judge had, sometime in November 2022, issued a bench warrant against the current Managing Director of NAMA, Matthew Pwajok, for failing to make available some documents in the ongoing trial of Abdulsalam.
The documents were a subject matter of subpoena by the court.
At the resumed sitting today, Pwajok’s counsel, Mahmood Adeshina, SAN, informed the court that he had filed two motions before the court: one asking the court to set aside the order seeking the arrest of Pwajok and the other asking for the stay of the proceedings.
“Your lordship made an order on November 1, 2022, and we applied that the order be vacated. Our motion is dated November 7, 2022 and filed the same day.
“We pray the court to grant our prayers as contained herein.”
In a short ruling, Justice Kuewunmi granted the prayer and vacated the order directing the arrest of Pwajok by the Commissioner of Police.
In view of this, Adesina submitted that “Subject to the ruling of the court on our first prayer, we shall be withdrawing our second prayer dated November 11, 2022”.
Furthermore, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, counsel to the 3rd and 8th defendants, informed the court that the documents requested by the court had been served on them and called on either the MD of NAMA or his representatives to present the same.
“I was informed that the MD of NAMA has caused to be brought to this court the subject matter of the Subpoena. It is an important document for the court. They must be placed before the court after which the third and eight defendants will make the necessary application to go through the documents.
“I am also aware that the representative of the MD of NAMA, Leo Eguabor, who is the General Manager, Legal Services, is in court to supply the court with the documents for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“I apply that the third and eight defendants, in conjunction with their counsel, be granted access by the Honourable Court to go through the documents and if need be make copies thereof as they may deem necessary for the purpose of the continuation of the cross-examination of the 4th prosecution witness, PW4”, Ojo prayed.
Justice Kuewunmi granted the prayers of the defence and adjourned the matter till May 30 and 31, 2023 for “definite further hearing”.
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