A defence counsel who weeks ago withdrew from defending a client in an alleged N978 million oil fraud case; and went ahead to nail his client by alleging he planned to jump bail, resurfaced in court with a new script: he filed a motion asking the judge to recuse himself from the case.
But the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere today, October 15, 2019 threw out the motion asking Justice Christopher A. Balogun to recuse himself from further hearing the alleged N978, 401, 732. 09 oil fraud case involving the Chairman of Nadabo Energy Limited, Abubakar Ali Peters.
The judge threw out the motion on the ground that the counsel to the defendant no longer has the right to appear in the matter or present such application having relieved self of the matter at the last adjourned date.
At Wednesday’s proceedings, the ‘former’ counsel to the defendant, Emefo Etudo filed a motion on notice asking the judge to recuse self from the matter despite his earlier withdrawal from the matter.
The court described the motion on notice as contemptuous and warned the counsel to refrain from disobeying court orders.
He apologized to the court and promised to obey the order of the court.
Meanwhile, the court had revoked the bail earlier granted to the defendant at the last sitting. A fresh bail application was, however, filed and served by the new counsel to the defendant, Emmanuel Okedi.
Justice Balogun adjourned hearing on the bail application to October 21, 2019 and further hearing on the matter to November 6 and 7, 2019.
At the last adjourned date, the former defence counsel, Emefo Etudo gave damning evidence against the defendant, Ali Peters, and withdrew from the matter.
The defendant is standing trial on a 27-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of forged documents as preferred against him by the EFCC.
Peters allegedly defrauded the Federal Government of Nigeria of N978.4 million by supplying 6, 505, 140.04 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS instead of 19,488, 992 litres indicated in the contract.