An application to further adjourn the defense proceedings by Senator Bassey Albert in the case of money laundering levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been thrown out.
The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, presided over by Justice A.A Okeke adjourned the case to Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022 for adoption of written addresses.
The adjournment came after the Counsel to Senator Albert applied for an adjournment on the basis that the lead Counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, was away on health grounds.
In a ruling Justice Okeke overruled the application and ordered other members of the Defense team including a renowned human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN to proceed with the Defense in the absence of the Lead Counsel.
The Court frowned at the incessant adjournments of the matter which prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had closed its case two years ago.
When the Defense could not proceed, the Court foreclosed the Defense and adjourned for adoption of final written addresses.
In May 2017, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission detained Senator Akpan over cars that Akpan had allegedly received as a bribe from Jide Omokore years before hand while Akpan was Akwa Ibom Finance Commissioner and Chairman of the State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
Reports showed that the Omokore’s companies – Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy – received contracts from the Direct Labour Coordinating Committee and the EFCC claimed the vehicles were used to bribe Akpan.
In August 2018, the EFCC filed charges against Akpan and Omokore in the High Court of Lagos State for corruption and bribery. The case was later tossed out by Justice O.A. Taiwo due to jurisdictional issues based on the defense’s argument that the case should have been brought in Akwa Ibom not Lagos State.