The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday turned down the application filed the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, against the plan of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) to change witness in the ongoing N2.2bn fraud trial.
The Court has, however, ruled that the Head of Operations, Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Mr Johnson Abidakun, can testify as a prosecution witness.
The counsel to Fayose stated that allowing a change of witness was an abuse of court processes by the prosecution.
A bullion van driver with Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Adewale Aladegbola, who had earlier testified in the case, was listed to be replaced by Abidakun. The anti-graft agency gave its reason for the move stating that Fayose had gone behind to compromise the bullion van driver.
But Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited had through his lawyers, Messrs Ola Olanipekun (SAN) and Olalekan Ojo (SAN), filed an interlocutory summons in objection to the EFCC’s move to change witness.
Meanwhile, the EFCC’s prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), maintained that it was at liberty to replace Aladegbola with Abidakun since the case was starting afresh before Justice Aneke after it was transferred from Justice Mojisola Olatoregun (retd.), before whom Aladegbola testified.
However, the presiding judge, Justice Aneke agreed with the prosecution and dismissed the objection by the defence, stating that, “This is a fresh trial, the parties are at liberty to call any witness that they desire in proof of their case.
As a result, the defendants/applicants’ interlocutory summons is dismissed for lack of merit.
The matter was subsequently adjourned until May 5 and 6 for continuation of trial.