Fayose’s Trial: Drama As Prosecutor Seeks Adjournment Over ” Hostile Witness”

* Ayo Fayose * Source : Independent Newspapers Nigeria



By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi


A Prosecution Witness in the trial of former Ekiti State governor , Mr Ayodele Fayose today, cause a stir in the court when contrary to his extra-judicial statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, he told the court that he did not move cash from Afao Ekiti, Fayose’s hometown on the 16th of June 2014 as that the two vehicles he used to drive in Zenith Bank were grounded on that day.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, for an alleged fraud of N2.2bn.

At the resumed trial today , the witness, Mr Adewale Aladegbola Clement, a former driver to Zenith Bank Ado -Ekiti branch who was suppose to be the second prosecution witness for the day told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, that he got to know about Afao Ekiti sometimes in 2014 when the head of cash payment section of the bank told him that there is something to be done in Afao Ekiti and that when he asked him what that thing was, he said it was unofficial.

The witness said he was told to lie by the bank Cash Officer, Okemute Oputu.

He said that on April 16, 2015, the Zenith Bank bullion van was grounded and there was no operations.

Obviously shocked at this point, the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told the court that he will be asking for adjournment as the witness seems to be a hostile witness.

“My Lord, from indications am getting from responses from this witness, it looks as if this witness might become hostile as he is making statements contrary to his extra judicial statement in the proof of evidence. ”

“I need to know the nature of application to be made before your lordship. I had no prior indication that the witness was going to change his mind. I want your lordship to adjourn this matter for me to make appropriate applications because he has cast aspersions on his cashier officer on cover up,” the EFCC counsel said.

The defence counsel, Mr Ola Olanipekun, SAN, and Olalekan Ojo, SAN, opposed the application for adjournment, saying the prosecution can not ask for adjournment based on the fact that his witness was not cooperating.

The defence counsel said that rather than asking for adjournment, the prosecutor should have declared the witness a hostile witness and contradict him with his statement.

Judge Mojisola Olatoregun in replying to the claim of the prosecution that his obligation to protect the witness is inhibiting him from out rightly declaring the witness hostile said; “your primary disposition is to the court. You do not protect anybody at the expense of justice. What stops you from declaring him hostile right now? You can seek adjournment based on I’ll preparation.”

However,  after further argument from the prosecuting counsel,  the judge Mrs Olatoregun agreed to adjourn proceedings and continue with the witness exam in chief on the 14th of May at 1pm.

The prosecutor had earlier called a witness Mr Aliyu Mohammed Mukandaz, a Senior Manager with Central Bank of Nigeria, Head Payment department, Abuja who tendered the payment mandate authorised by the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.

While being led in evidence, by the prosecutor, Mukandaz told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun that sometimes in in 2014, the ONSA office brought a payment mandate of the sum of N200 million in favour of Silva Mcnamara Limited to the bank and that after due diligence was carried out, the payment was effected.

Mukandaz further stated that on the 13th of June 2014, another mandate of N2 billion from the office of ONSA was brought also in favour of Silva Mcnamara and that the mandate was honoured.

The witness, Mukandaz, also confirmed to the court that all such payments followed the due process of payment by CBN from the account of government ministries and agencies.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, for an alleged fraud of N2.2bn.

Be the first to comment on "Fayose’s Trial: Drama As Prosecutor Seeks Adjournment Over ” Hostile Witness”"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.